We’re supplying housing, so stop using us as a pawn!
Published 07 November 2023
Mayor of City of Moreton Bay Peter Flannery called on the Federal Government to stop using his City as a pawn in a political game to ease their budget blowout.
The Youngs Crossing Road project, relying on $32.75 million of federal funding, is currently tied up in the Federal Government’s Independent Strategic Review of its Infrastructure Investment Program.
Recent statements from Infrastructure Minister Catherine King have placed a cloud over this project with the Federal Government blaming infrastructure spend on exacerbating inflation.
“City of Moreton Bay is the fastest growing area of South East Queensland. Our population is expected to grow to over 800,000 by 2046, that’s an increase of 300,000 people!” Mayor Flannery said.
“City of Moreton Bay will single-handedly solve South East Queensland’s housing crisis with our greenfield sites, but unless people can get to and from their homes, why would they bother?
“It’s expected 50% of our population will live west of the Bruce Highway by 2041.
“That includes our growth fronts housing a population bigger than the Minister’s hometown of Ballarat.
“We’ve already approved more than 16,000 lots in our growth area sites, so we don’t have a lot of time!
“The Youngs Crossing Road project is vital to provide a resilient road network that supports the supply of housing in the area.
“We’re doing our bit to manage population growth but with that comes mounting traffic demands.
“As a Council, we’ve been progressively upgrading sections of the corridor including Old North Road, Warner and turning parts of Youngs Crossing Road into a four-lane capacity however the section which crosses the North Pine River is the most complex due to the need to design and construct a high-level bridge that has sufficient flood protection to cater for discharges from the North Pine Dam, and Council can’t fund this alone.
“Fixing this part of Youngs Crossing Road is crucial, so much so that Council itself has assigned a massive $32.25 million to the project, alongside a $15 million commitment from the State Government, who also recognise the importance of this project.
“We’re not expecting the Federal Government to cover the whole thing. Alongside the State, together we’ve funded more than half of the project, we’ve completed the design work, allocated resources and are ready to go to tender now.
“We agree with what Minister King has said previously about projects being reviewed - they need to focus on infrastructure that enhances productivity and liveability.
“If this project doesn’t stack up in terms of contributing to a more productive, sustainable and liveable Australia then I don’t know what does.
“So we share the State Government’s disappointment that the Federal Government has shifted the goal posts and is now using inflation as their excuse to cut much-needed projects.
“The Youngs Crossing upgrade is necessary to improve flood immunity, safety, and vehicle capacity due to our forecast population growth, housing developments and associated traffic volumes.
“Projections show for the 15 years from 2021 to 2036, the area in proximity to Youngs Crossing will be home to around 150,000 residents (or 60,000 dwellings), with further anticipated growth beyond 2036.
“The Youngs Crossing Road transport corridor is nationally significant and a critical link in the Queensland road network, being one of only four road crossings of the North Pine River connecting City of Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and beyond to Brisbane and the Australia Trade Coast.
“It is currently used by approximately 20,000 vehicles every day, and traffic is forecast to increase to 27,500 vehicles by 2036.
“During heavy rains and flooding, transport is pushed onto the Bruce Highway or Old Gympie Road which are already crippled by massive congestion and causing daily delays for residents and businesses across the South East.
“This scale of diversion creates chaos; to put it in perspective, 20,000 cars would fill the Westfield North Lakes carpark four times over.
“The benefits of the Youngs Crossing project have also been thoroughly demonstrated in the regional transport model that shows that the upgrade will reduce vehicle kilometres travelled on the road network by almost 10%.
“Youngs Crossing Road is also approximately 4km from Dayboro Quarry which is vital to support the significant construction activities in the region in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games.
“Given the forecasted population growth of 240 new residents moving to City of Moreton Bay each week over the next 25 years, we need certainty on delivering this infrastructure now.”