Infrastructure Delays

30 July 2019

Mr Deputy Speaker Hogan, I think you've been a consistent and supportive presence at each of my speeches in the chamber so far. Thank you for your ongoing support. When I read in business arising in the Federation Chamber yesterday of a motion by the member for Boothby congratulating the government on all of its work on infrastructure funding in the May 2019 budget, I was compelled to run to the Federation Chamber and speak on that very point. You were there, Mr Deputy Speaker. Then today, seeing that the matter of public importance was on, again, the issue of infrastructure and what this government has and has not done, I felt compelled to sprint in my heels to the chamber to speak on this matter. In question time today, the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure spent a fair bit of time lavishly congratulating himself and his peers on their work planning infrastructure, particularly in our cities. I think he spoke at length about congestion busting. But I find that difficult to swallow when today is also the day that we have learned that commuting times are getting worse for everyone in all capital cities across the country, and I know that is true for my constituents in Lilley on Brisbane's north side.

Despite the government lavishing praise upon themselves around congestion busting, we on this side of the chamber are superior at chop busting, so that is what we will have to do in the matter of public importance today. As I did last night in the Federation Chamber, today I will speak in this chamber about how lacking the government's infrastructure plans are on Brisbane's north side, and I will show up anywhere, anytime to debate this issue. But, sadly, I will not be showing up quickly if I have to rely upon the major arterial roads on Brisbane's north side that have been neglected by the government, who have now had six years to get on with work and are entering their third term with nothing new to say for the people of Lilley.

Allow me to take you on a little mental holiday to the majestic tropical north, to Brisbane's north side. I want to speak on two particular projects. The first is at the particular request of the member for Petrie, who asked that I discuss the Gateway Upgrade North project, or the GUN project as we like to call it. I am nothing if not an accommodating and good neighbour, so let us touch on that now. This is a project that was announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan in his last budget, in May 2013. It was recently opened in the months approaching the federal election. So, after being promised by the last Labor government as one of the last major infrastructure projects promised on Brisbane's north side, it was recently opened. I was very happy to note that, and I am glad that the member for Petrie also acknowledges the work of my predecessor, a lion of the Labor movement, Wayne Swan, and his commitment to big nation-building infrastructure projects on Brisbane's north side.

The second project I want to bring up today—and I'm very glad the member for Petrie is here to hear it—is Linkfield Road, which is at centre stage of the government's kabuki theatre with respect to their infrastructure plans for the north side. Linkfield Road is a dangerous choke point and congestion site on Brisbane's north side. It's about two kays beyond the Lilley boundary. If you choose to leave the boundaries of Lilley, you'll be the poorer for it, but if you do you can proceed two kays along Depot Road and approach Telegraph Road, and you'll hit the Linkfield Road intersection. We all agree that this is an important congestion and choke point that needs work. That's why both our side and the government pledged $100 million to fix this intersection.

But, while this was discussed at length during the election campaign, something that did not appear on the LNP election material was the timing of the funding of the $100 million commitment. Something you did not see on the LNP election material was that not a single dollar would arrive for this much-needed, agreed-upon project until the 2026 federal budget. Let me tell you about a couple of other things that will happen by 2026. A child born this year will be in the under-eight soccer team by the time they get to use Linkfield Road to get to their soccer fields. Newlyweds married during the election campaign will be beginning to feel the seven-year itch by the time dollars are laid at Linkfield Road. Children who are starting in grade 1 at Aspley State School, which is probably the nearest school to Linkfield Road, will be in high school; they will be at Aspley State High School. We will have had two Olympics and two Commonwealth Games by the time we hit 2026. (Time expired)