Stop playing game with $80m project

Published 5:00am 9 November 2023

Stop playing game with $80m project
Words by Nick Crockford

Mayor Peter Flannery called on the Federal Government to stop using a key project in the City of Moreton Bay in a political 'game' to ease its budget blowout.

The $80 million Youngs Crossing Rd upgrade, relying on $32.75 million of federal funding, is tied up in the government’s Independent Strategic Review of its Infrastructure Investment Program.

Statements from Infrastructure Minister Catherine King have placed a cloud over the project with the Federal Government blaming infrastructure spend on exacerbating inflation.

“We've written to Ministers, been to Canberra even invited Federal Government representatives to our Leaders Forum but they didn't attend,” the Mayor said.

“This project aligns to all the areas of focus for the infrastructure review.

Stop playing game with $80m project

“To now say they are cutting projects due to inflation makes a mockery of all of the planning over the past few years to make this project happen.

“The project stumps up so we continue to remain positive but will always fight for our local area and ensure key projects remain in the spotlight.”

City of Moreton Bay is the fastest growing area of South-East Queensland with its population is expected to grow to more than 300,000 to 800,000 by 2046.

It’s expected 50 per cent of the population will live west of the Bruce Highway - Youngs Crossing is in the western suburb of Joyner - by 2041.

“We’ve already approved more than 16,000 lots in our growth area sites, so we don’t have a lot of time!” Mayor Flannery said.

“We’ve been upgrading sections of the corridor including Old North Road, Warner and turning parts of Youngs Crossing Road into a four-lane capacity.

Stop playing game with $80m project
Moreton Bay City Council Mayor Peter Flannery

“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.

“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.

Projections show from 2021 to 2036, the area around Youngs Crossing will be home to around 150,000 residents (60,000 dwellings), with more growth beyond 2036.

It is currently used by about 20,000 vehicles a day and traffic is forecast to increase to 27,500 vehicles by 2036.

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