City of Moreton Bay Puts Infrastructure Investment on LGAQ Agenda
Published 04 August 2023
City of Moreton Bay is heading to this year’s Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference with a significant reform agenda, hoping to win the support of 76 other Queensland Councils.
Moreton Bay Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask the LGAQ Annual Conference to consider lobbying the State and Federal Governments for:
- Additional funding programs for Councils to address cost escalations.
- Legislative amendments to crackdown on the sale of stolen copper wire
- Level rail crossing prioritisation and removal.
Mayor Peter Flannery said the collective weight of the full membership of the LGAQ (all 77 Queensland Councils) is a powerful advocacy tool to lobby the State and Federal Governments to take action on important Local Government matters.
“We are putting forward simple, logical suggestions that are significant to the economy and safety of local communities,” Mayor Flannery said.
“Clearly Councils need additional assistance to absorb skyrocketing construction costs, in fact the LGAQ’s Council Cost Index released in May 2023 revealed a 6.9% increase in the cost of delivering council services and infrastructure in 2022-23.
“So we’re calling on the State and Federal Governments to introduce new grant funding specifically to assist with the increasing costs of labour, materials, and services which are all presenting an increasing challenge for councils across Queensland to manage.
“Repeated calls by the LGAQ to the Federal and State Governments to increase funding to local government have gone unanswered, so we want to ramp-up this campaign in the interest of ratepayers.
“This is important to ensure we can maintain our infrastructure and service delivery programs for our communities without increasing rates.”
Mayor Flannery said he also wanted to see some common sense action by the State Government to end the black market for copper.
“I hope conference attendees will support our motion to lobby the State Government to change the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2003 and other legislation, to prohibit scrap metal being sold for cash in any circumstance, prevent scrap metal being sold to businesses other than registered scrap metal dealers, require scrap metal dealers to report suspicious activity to police, and also keep accurate electronic records of who they’re buying scrap metal from.
“Currently thieves can take stolen copper to a pawn broker without proof of ID, receive a cash payment, and just walk away.
“Essentially this legislative oversight has enabled a black market, and we need to close that loophole immediately.
“Copper theft has become so bad we’ve actually had entire housing estates blackout, so something has to change and we really need immediate action.”
The third motion the City of Moreton Bay will put forward for the LGAQ conference to consider is to replace railway level crossings, in the interests of better connectivity for commuters and reducing the time taken for freight to get to market.
“There are over 1200 private and public Open Level Rail Crossings in Queensland,” Mayor Flannery said.
“The motion we’re putting forward seeks for the State Government to fully fund a program of works to remove 40 of these crossings by 2032 in locations that would have significant economic and safety impacts.”
In the City of Moreton Bay these include:
- Pumicestone Road, Caboolture
- Mackie Road, Narangba
- McKean Road, Caboolture
- Todds Road, Strathpine
- Station Road, Morayfield
- South Pine Road, Strathpine
- Rowley Road, Burpengary
Additionally, there are two level crossings in Brisbane City Council that cause issues for motorists travelling between Brisbane and City of Moreton Bay: At Dawson Parade in Keperra, and at Arbor Street in Ferny Grove.