Fighting for Lilley Infrastructure Projects

Ms WELLS (Lilley) (10:57): Gympie Road in my electorate of Lilley acts as both a major highway and a suburban connector road, and it does neither well. If you ask any northsider, they will tell you to avoid Gympie Road during peak hour. It's basically a car park. The six-lane, 10-kilometre road, which stretches from the end of the Airport Link tunnel at Kedron through to Beams Road at Carseldine, is the most congested road in Queensland. Gympie Road regularly dominates state-run surveys and polls about the least safe and most congested roads. Since 2015 Gympie Road has been identified by the RACQ and the AAMI Crash Index as the most dangerous and one of the most congested roads in Queensland. The Morrison government's own Infrastructure Priority List categorises Gympie Road as 'high priority'.

A generation of planning failures has meant that locals living on the northside face daily commuting times two to three times longer than those travelling the same distance from the CBD on the southside, despite not having to cross the Brisbane River. Drivers must transition from the 100-kilometre-per-hour, six-lane Bruce Highway directly onto a heavily congested, substandard suburban road, with traffic lights every few hundred metres and no direct or convenient alternative path into the city. The congestion is compounded by the second-largest shopping centre in Australia, Westfield Chermside, sitting at the corner of Gympie Road and Hamilton Road.

On an average day, 100,000 cars travel along Gympie Road. These numbers are only set to skyrocket. Key findings of the north-west transport network strategic assessment found that over the next 20 years daily road trips in this region are set to increase by 40 to 60 per cent. The first step towards fixing Gympie Road is to recognise the crucial role it plays as a commuter highway and make it part of the national highway network so that it will be eligible for critical federal funding. The second step is for the federal government to start the Gympie Road-Chermside Road project business case, which I included in my 2021 Lilley budget submission.

This year marks 10 years since the Brisbane City Council delayed their promised upgrade of the Brighton foreshore because of the Brisbane floods. Now, a decade on, the upgrade remains unfunded despite countless community petitions and consistent local advocacy from representatives such as Councillor Jared Cassidy. Disappointingly, the Morrison government rejected my funding request on behalf of our community in the 2021 Lilley budget submission, but my fight continues. I invite northsiders to sign my petition calling on the federal government to deliver the funding for a much-needed upgrade to the Brighton foreshore. The foreshore is an essential element of recreation for northsiders on the weekends, particularly for those in Brighton and Sandgate. It encourages healthy, active living. Our birds live there. Our dogs love it. Upgrade the Brighton foreshore.