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Sourcing critical railway upgrade funding needs cool heads and smart solutions
LIVES are being placed in danger each day as the finger pointing among various levels of government continues over who will fix a Brisbane rail crossing.
Brisbane City Council Infrastructure Chairwoman Cr Amanda Cooper performed a half-hearted backflip on the Lindum rail crossing when she told the Wynnum Herald “the only holdup to this project is the State Government’s lack of funding”.
Her comments come six months after Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk stated the Lindum Rd crossing had been off the table for some time.
Lindum Station is right next to the crossing.State ALP MP for Lytton Joan Pease and Councillor Peter Cumming (Wynnum Manly) have since fired back.
Federal LNP MP for Bonner Ross Vasta said he had discussed the issue with the council.
“Brisbane City Council has indicated they are very excited about doing something,” Mr Vasta said.
“We all need to work together.
“I won’t stop until this is fixed - you have my word on that.”
Cr Cooper said the council was ready to support funding for the project.
“Open level crossings have always been State Government infrastructure and responsibility, however, council stands ready to support an upgrade at Lindum Rd with a 15 per cent contribution,” Cr Cooper said.
However Cr Cumming said the comments were “disgusting” because they gave people “false hope”.
“It would be good if it was true,” Cr Cumming, who is the opposition leader within Brisbane City Council, said of Cr Cooper’s comments.
The intersection has cars coming from several different directions, sometimes confusing drivers.“But they seem to be giving people false hope which is really inappropriate.
“If the Lord Mayor wants to say they’ve changed their mind then we need specific details.
“I’m happy to be part of a meeting to try to reach an agreement and have a look at some costs and designs.
“We need Cr Cooper and the Lord Mayor to come along and be part of that meeting.
“I’ve never seen any detailed designs or figures on what it might cost.”
State ALP MP for Lytton Joan Pease looked in Brisbane City Council’s direction.
“I would love to hear from the council,” Ms Pease said.
“The important thing is that we finally find a solution for the community. I would certainly like for council to discuss it. I have put it forward to some of our ministers (in the State Government).”
Ms Pease said council had stalled since the state election.
“Campbell Newman first put this out there and council was prepared to split the cost when there was an LNP State Government.”
Federal LNP MP for Bonner with Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher at Lindum rail crossing.Minister visits intersection
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher says a visit to the Lindum rail crossing earlier this month“left me in no doubt about the importance” of Ross Vasta’s campaign to find a solution to concerns about the safety of the crossing.
Mr Vasta, the LNP MP for Bonner, started the campaign to have the intersection and crossing upgraded in October last year. Almost 5000 people signed the petition.
“Clearly we need to make decisions around the nation on projects and where money is spent but (visiting the intersection) is a very important step,” Minister Fletcher said.
“We’re not at a stage yet where we can talk about timing or decisions. But we will now discuss whether this project could be the subject of an application (for use of the new $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund).”
■ Both freight trains on the way to and from the Port of Brisbane and passenger trains travel on the line through the crossing
■ Traffic in both directions also crosses the railway line, while turns onto Lindum and Sibley roads also lead to impatience and risky manoeuvres from drivers due to traffic congestion
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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