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MEMBER for Bonner Ross Vasta will push for a meeting between Federal and State ministers in an attempt to find a solution to the dangerous Lindum rail crossing.
The latest move follows a meeting with State Member for Lytton Joan Pease, during which the two local politicians failed to find common ground on fixing the crossing.
Mr Vasta organised the meeting with Ms Pease but said he came away with no indication they could work together on the issue.
The rail crossing, next to Lindum Railway Station, has been the site of many near misses as trains on the busy Cleveland line cross paths with peak hour commuters, trucks, school buses and parents dropping their children off at nearby Iona College.
Member for Bonner Ross Vasta and Federal Infrastructure Minister Alan Trudge during a recent inspection of the dangerous crossing.Suggested solutions have included an overpass or a tunnel, both of which would cost tens of millions of dollars.
The crossing became a hot political issue after Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, joined Mr Vasta on an inspection of the site and called on the State Labor Government to “step up to the plate”.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey bought into the debate, saying the state would only get involved in redeveloping the dangerous site once the Federal Government and Brisbane City Council had worked out a funding plan.
Mr Vasta said he would now push for a meeting between Mr Bailey, Mr Tudge, himself and Ms Pease in a bid to solve the issue.
Member for Lytton Joan Pease met with Mr Vasta over the crossing but was apparently unable to reach an agreement.He said he had used the face-to-face meeting with Ms Pease to impress on her how determined he was to fix the crossing.
“I said to Joan ‘this is on our watch now and we have an obligation to fix it and make sure that at least the planning stage is done now’,” he said.
“I’ve had minister after minister there and they can see it is dangerous. You know it and so do I. What can we do to fix this?”
Mr Vasta said Ms Pease had referred to a promise by former LNP Premier Campbell Newman to fund 100% of the project but he believed that was no longer relevant.
“I said successive governments have made promises and they were ignored.
“That doesn’t change the fact it is on our watch.
“I think I impressed on her that I’m not going to allow her to dismiss this as a historical promise (by Campbell Newman) that should be kept.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, will be invited to a meeting to discuss solutions for the crossing.“We have an obligation to get the funding to fix this.
“It will be on our heads if there is a tragedy there.”
Mr Vasta said he was confident he was closer to a solution for what he rates as the No.1 infrastructure priority in his electorate.
“The pressure is well and truly on her. She knows I am not going away
“I have been very gentle and polite in my approach and will continue to do that.
“But I will be very forceful in my pushing to sit down with her minister and my minister and work out a plan to get this done.”
The Wynnum Herald made several attempts to obtain comment from Ms Pease, contacting her office by email and phone, but without success.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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