Constituency Statement - Cavendish Road Level Crossing

By Terri Butler MP

03 March 2020

I'm here to talk about traffic congestion, because traffic congestion is one of the key issues in my electorate and on the south side of Brisbane generally. Everyone in this place knows, because I have told them about it so many times, that the Cavendish Road level crossing is one of the worst traffic snarls on the south side.

I would like this government to start to do something about it. I see the member for Bonner is here. As you know, Deputy Speaker Wicks, the member for Bonner has in his electorate the Lindum level crossing, just near Iona, and I certainly don't begrudge the funding that's been into that level crossing removal. But we should not have to have a fatality at the Cavendish Road level crossing before something is done about it. At the federal election, Labor put serious money on the table—$107 million—to deal with this terrible traffic snarl. This government failed to match that commitment. And we have learnt recently, since the federal election, that it's no wonder, because in fact the Urban Congestion Fund, the flagship fund from this government for urban congestion, was yet another set of rorts. Eighty-three per cent of the money from that fund went to Liberal electorates or Liberal target electorates. This is some of the worse rorting we have seen in the entire time of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government. It's an absolute disgrace. It's not like you just drive down Old Cleveland Road and suddenly when you cross the border from Bonner into Griffith the traffic congestion just magically disappears. That doesn't happen. Traffic congestion doesn't respect electorate boundaries. Traffic congestion actually requires some really serious thought and serious money to go into it.

Patrick Condren, who is the Labor lord mayoral candidate in the Brisbane City Council elections, and Matthew Campbell made a fantastic announcement when they recently announced funding for the level crossing at Coorparoo station and Cavendish Road. It is a $400 million commitment across the city and some of that money will go to the level crossing. I invite the Liberal administration in the Brisbane City Council to stop playing games—no more tricky letters, no more nonsense. Just turn up, stump up and put some serious money into this level crossing, because people in Coorparoo and people outside of Coorparoo are sick to death of this being a political football. They want to see some actual congestion-busting infrastructure from the Liberal administration in council and they'd like to see some federal money.

As I said, I certainly don't begrudge the member for Bonner the money. It's important that that level crossing be dealt with. It's equally important that the level crossing on Cavendish Road at Coorparoo be dealt with. This government needs to stop using public funds as though they are election campaign winning funds. They need to actually put serious money into infrastructure where it's needed to bust congestion for the people of Brisbane, and particularly for the people on the south side of Brisbane. We are sick of the games. We would like to see the funding put into infrastructure now.