DEPUTY MAYOR, Councillor Adrian SCHRINNER, Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee, moved, seconded by Councillor Ian McKENZIE, that the report of the meeting of that Committee held on 18 March 2014, be adopted.
Chairman: Is there any debate?
DEPUTY MAYOR: Yes, Madam Chairman; two items on the agenda today. First was the Committee presentation on the open level crossing replacement projects that are under way at the moment, both on the northside. Second was a petition requesting more motor cycle parking in the South Brisbane and West End two-hour zones.
On the presentation, committee members heard that these two vital projects, the open-level crossing projects at Geebung and also Bracken Ridge, are well under way, on track and reaching all their key milestones, and within budget as well. So we had some very worthwhile and heartening news presented to the committee last week. I am pleased to report that the Geebung overpass is now open for traffic, so cars are travelling on that overpass for the first time.
It has been a very long wait for those residents. Some have been waiting for tens of years for this to happen, so it is an important milestone that the overpass is now open. Obviously there is still more work to be done on the project, but that key link is now working and providing a benefit not only in terms of congestion but also in safety as well, and it is great to see.
We are also seeing work progressing well on the overpass at Telegraph Road at Bracken Ridge as well, and that project is also well on track and on budget to be delivered later on this year.
In relation to the petition requesting more motorcycle parking, this is something that Council absolutely agrees with. We have a commitment to rollout an additional 400 free motor cycle parking spaces in the inner city areas this term. We have now delivered 229 to be precise, so we are well on track to deliver that commitment. We agree that there is growing demand in the West End and South Brisbane area for more motorcycle parking, and we are actively looking for additional spaces.
Of the spaces that we've got at the moment, there was just an additional 30 rolled out right next to GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art), and we had the cooperation of the State Government to provide those spaces for free on State Government land. So we appreciate the support of the State Government, in particular, Minister Tim Mander, the Minister for Public Works and Housing, who assisted us with that. I can say that we are definitely looking for additional spaces in that South Brisbane and West End area to provide more free motor cycle parking in line with our commitment.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Thank you, Madam Chair. I wish to make a few comments on item B, which is the petition relating to a request for more motorbike parking in South Brisbane and West End two-hour zones. I support the petition response, so therefore I thought it was appropriate to say a few words.
This petition arises from one particular trip generating site. I have been out on site to discuss the need for motor bike parking with the chief petitioner, and as a result, the officers in the Road Use Management team have provided, as the DEPUTY MAYOR, Councillor SCHRINNER stated, a number of additional motorbike parking sites, particularly those that they could find a small area that was not satisfactory for cars but would serve the need of motorbikes. My recollection, too, is that we forewent some car parking spaces for motor bike parking on-site.
I do believe that the essence of this report is there needs to be a balance of appropriate allocation of kerbside parking both for cars, motorbikes, and may I even put in a plug for pushbikes, and that that is what the thrust of this response seeks to achieve. Therefore I support it.
The DEPUTY MAYOR also indicated that there was a level of diligence and enthusiasm to find these spaces. I wish to comment on that. The paragraph that refers to the rollout of the spaces in Dutton Park is an area which I have spoken on previously. There the motorbike car parking is at the expense of pedestrian convenience, connectivity, as the motorbikes have been allocated to the flat part of the footpath near the Dutton Park rail bridge, and the pedestrians are on a sloped area which is frequently wet because the bridge seeps and therefore you have a wet slippery footpath on that location.
I have asked, and I would use this opportunity to reinforce: I do believe that there should be a balance and at no time should the safety and direct path, and therefore convenience, of pedestrians be sacrificed for parking of motor cycles on our footpath.
Chairman: Further debate; Councillor KING.
Councillor KING: Thank you, Madam Chair; I rise to speak on item A as I have many times in this place about the Geebung Railway Crossing. It is absolutely fantastic to see this $200 million project up and running with cars going over it, and leaving the congestion at the Geebung Open Level Crossing. So I thank the Premier, Campbell Newman, and Graham QUIRK, the LORD MAYOR, and also Councillor SCHRINNER for putting this project and delivering this project after it has been promised for over 30 years.
It is interesting that those opposite never wanted this project to go ahead, and never actually saw the importance of alleviating traffic congestion across our city. It is also interesting that Councillor NEWTON was on the radio talking about an event that happened on Sunday. On Sunday, one resident rang my office and asked if they could—because they have been waiting for so long; they have been waiting for over 30 years for this project, and they are so excited—walk over the bridge before it opened.
We were happy to accommodate that, and I know Councillor NEWTON was on the radio saying what a great project it was, and people are walking over the bridge. But she wouldn't even bother to turn up on Sunday to actually walk over with the residents. I will admit that Councillor WINES was there, walking over; the hard-working State member—
Chairman: Order! Councillor NEWTON!
Councillor KING: —Jason Woodforth was there—
Chairman: Councillor NEWTON!
Councillor KING: So, it was a great day, Madam Chair, to see the people of Geebung on the northside of Brisbane so excited about this project.
Councillor KING: Over 600 people turned up to walk across the bridge on Sunday, and it was great—
Councillor KING: —they had tents on the bridge so people could actually walk over and actually see where they had to get off, because some of them were concerned about how they now get to the bread shop or how they now get to the bakery. It was amazing to see that they were actually quite concerned, but they could see it; they could walk on it, they know how to drive on the project. I commend this report, and I know the others on the other side, especially Councillor JOHNSTON, are snickering and laughing. I know they didn't want this project to go ahead. However—
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: Point of order, Councillor KING.
Chairman: Order! Yes, Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Madam Chairman, Councillor KING is, number one, misleading the Chamber. I have absolutely in no way made any statement ever about this; and number two, she is making an adverse reflection on my character, and I would ask you to ask her to withdraw it.
Chairman: Order! Councillor KING, just a minute.
Councillor SIMMONDS: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: I've got to deal with one at a time, thanks, Councillor SIMMONDS. Councillor JOHNSTON, I don't believe Councillor KING is misleading the Chamber. I would say perhaps imputing—
Chairman: Do you want an answer or not?
Chairman: Be quiet! Councillor JOHNSTON! Councillor KING, I would ask you to withdraw the comment because in my opinion it is sort of imputing motive in terms of Councillor JOHNSTON, so just please withdraw the comment.
Councillor KING: Madam Chair, I withdraw the comment, but it is in my opinion, and I saw—
Chairman: Yes, all right, Councillor KING.
Councillor KING: —Councillor JOHNSTON laughing and sniggering about this project.
Chairman: Thank you. I know, Councillor KING; just a moment. Councillor SIMMONDS, point of order.
Councillor SIMMONDS: I was wondering if Councillor KING would take a question, Madam Chairman?
Councillor KING: I would love to take a question.
Councillor SIMMONDS: Can you confirm that those councillors on the opposite side, Independent councillor included, have time and time again voted either against or abstained from voting in the budget process for this program which contains the money for this important project, and if it was up to them, it wouldn't have happened?
Councillor KING: I thank Councillor SIMMONDS for the question.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: No, Councillor KING is answering that point of order; resume your seat. Councillor KING.
Chairman: Councillor DICK! I would ask you to withdraw that comment, seeing as Councillor JOHNSTON was so offended by what was said, I think what you were just saying is really—
Councillor DICK: Madam Chair, I withdraw and say that it was a Dorothy Dixer and she is prepared.
Chairman: Councillor KING, do you wish to provide an answer to Councillor SIMMONDS' question?
Councillor KING: Yes, Madam Chair, and I am delighted that Councillor SIMMONDS asked that question, because numerously, for approximately six years in this place that I have been here, the Labor and the Opposition Councillors have voted against this project in the budget or abstained—
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Councillor KING: —again and again.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: Yes, Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Madam Chairman, I have at no stage voted against this project in the budget in the six years that I have been a councillor. Councillor KING is continuing to mislead the Chamber, and I would ask you, Madam Chairman, to ask her to withdraw that motivation that she is intending that I am in some way opposed to this project. There is no evidence or any fact that I have voted against the budget.
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, I did not hear your name mentioned by Councillor KING.
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON! You are very close to a warning, and more. Councillor KING.
Councillor King: Madam Chair, I will be more precise—either voted against or abstained on every vote that we have had, and did not support this project.
This project is well deserved on the northside of Brisbane. It will tackle those hard congestion issues that we have had at that particular railway crossing. I am looking forward to Telegraph Road also getting to the stage and catching up to the Geebung Robinson Road Crossing. I will be going down to the local residents and the businesses next week just to make sure that they're happy; give it a week to settle in, and see what the residents and the businesses have to say. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Thank you. Further debate; Councillor COOPER.
Councillor COOPER: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I rise to speak to item A of the report today. I do absolutely want to agree with Councillor KING. These two particular projects which impact on we northern suburbs people have been, I think, a huge improvement.
We have seen a lot of development, a lot of activity, happen in the outer northern suburbs, but we really didn't see infrastructure that has been able to address these particular issues until we saw the new State Government take on that responsibility and very much working with this LORD MAYOR to say: we can deliver these particular projects. So two very significant projects. I think Geebung is $199 million; Telegraph Road is $82 million.
These are significant projects for our part of the world, and they will make tremendous differences to moving not just residents but certainly a lot of freight through those particular areas, so from Telegraph Road, Brendale, and particularly with Robinson Road, you will see that movement through into Newman Road. All of that sort of industrial area will be greatly facilitated as a consequence of this development.
I particularly want to say thank you to the LORD MAYOR and to the DEPUTY MAYOR; they have been strong advocates for these two projects. I thank them for their hard work. We have certainly enjoyed seeing that investment in our local area, and in particular for my open level crossing at Telegraph Road, not only has the LORD MAYOR and DEPUTY MAYOR invested in the open-level crossing but they have also undertaken to complete works to Norris Road, so that is an additional $11 million to finalise that point where the open-level crossing actually connects back into Telegraph Road and extend that to Norris Road, and that will become a four-way intersection which again will make a tremendous difference to our local area.
Certainly I know with the previous State Government, when they put thousands of people into Fitzgibbon, that ULDA (Urban Land Development Authority) area, thousands and thousands of people were encouraged to move to Fitzgibbon, but what kind of infrastructure was delivered? None. Absolutely none. Road infrastructure—none. So they've got all of these people living in this area—and I welcome them to Bracken Ridge Ward—but I say that this is an outrage.
I thank the incoming State Government and I thank this LORD MAYOR for actually delivering that infrastructure, so those people, when they live in our area, will have an opportunity to move safely through the area and not be stuck in constant congestion. Traffic signals, certainly we saw those boom gates down for 15 minutes. When you are hurrying to work in the morning, who has time to sit there at these sorts of facilities and wait for 15 minutes? The previous State Government's solution to Telegraph Road was to do what?
Councillor COOPER: No, they did do one thing, through you, Madam Chair. They put in a red light camera. They gave people tickets. They said: if you do the wrong thing, we will fine you. But they didn't invest in that infrastructure. So thank you very much to the Can-do team; thank you to the Premier, thank you to the LORD MAYOR, thank you to the DEPUTY MAYOR. This is a great couple of projects. Councillor KING and I are absolutely delighted to see this investment in the northern suburbs, and the tremendous that it will make to our city. Thank you.
Chairman: Further debate; DEPUTY MAYOR. No further debate; I will put the motion.
Upon being submitted to the Chamber, the motion for the adoption of the report of the Infrastructure Committee was declared carried on the voices.
The report read as follows
ATTENDANCE: Deputy Mayor, Councillor Adrian Schrinner (Chairman), Councillor Ian McKenzie (Deputy Chairman), and Councillors Margaret de Wit, Milton Dick, Victoria Newton and Norm Wyndham.
1. Lee Marshall, Principal Project Manager, Robinson Road Open Level Crossing (OLC) Replacement Project, City Projects Office, Brisbane Infrastructure Division, attended the meeting to provide an update on Council’s open level crossing replacement projects. He provided the information below.
2. The project locations were noted as being the Telegraph Road OLC and the Robinson Road OLC. The OLC Replacement projects are jointly funded between Council and the Queensland Government, with Council being the delivery agent. Both projects are listed as a priority due to safety and congestion issues at these locations.
3. The benefits of the projects were outlined. By removing the open level crossings at these locations, the projects will improve safety by removing the interaction between the road and rail users. Traffic congestion issues will be reduced with free-flowing overpasses, freight and passenger rail efficiencies will be increased and pedestrian and cycle links will be improved.
4. A slide showing the works that have been completed as part of the Robinson Road Open Level Crossing Replacement Project was displayed. The presenter advised that the new infrastructure that has been installed in this location includes: road surfacing, footpaths, traffic islands and on road bike lanes.
5. A photograph of the first deck unit being placed on the southern span of the pedestrian bridge at Geebung Station was shown. The presenter noted that this unit will be one of the four deck units that will be installed in over two spans.
6. The milestones of the Robinson Road OLC Replacement project were outlined as follows:
- alliance partners appointed – October 2012
- land acquisition completed – February 2013
- construction commenced – April 2013
- Robinson Road east traffic switch – November 2013
- pedestrian bridge girder placement – February 2014
- road bridge open to traffic – March 2014
- construction completion – November 2014.
The presenter noted that the budget allocation for this project is $199 million.
7. A slide showing the project plan for the works that are to be completed as part of the Telegraph Road OLC Replacement Project was displayed. The presenter noted that the project will involve the construction of a new four lane road-over-rail overpass, removal of the existing open level crossing, a new signalised intersection, and relocating the existing bus stops on Telegraph Road.
8. An image of a girder being placed for the road bridge at Telegraph Road was shown.
9. The milestones of the Telegraph Road OLC Replacement project were outlined as follows:
- joint venture contractors appointed – July 2013
- construction commenced – August 2013
- Linkfield and Lacey Road traffic switch – January 2014
- road bridge girder placement – February 2014
- traffic directed to road bridge (staged construction) – Mid-2014
- road bridge open to traffic – August 2014
- construction completion – November 2014.
The presenter noted that the budget allocation for this project is $82 million.
10. In addition to the open level crossing replacement project, works are being undertaken to upgrade the Telegraph Road corridor. This project, referred to as Telegraph Road Corridor Upgrade Stage 1A, will include upgrades to the current intersection of Telegraph and Norris Roads, Bracken Ridge, a continuation of the open level crossing vehicle and cycle lane arrangements east to Enbrook parklands, and an additional leg connection to the future Economic Development Queensland development site. The presenter noted that the budget allocation for these additional works is $11 million.
11. A slide showing the project plan for the Telegraph Road Corridor Upgrade Stage 1A was displayed.
12. Following a number of questions from the Committee, the Chairman thanked Mr Marshall for his informative presentation.
13. RECOMMENDATION: THAT COUNCIL NOTE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE REPORT.
B PETITION – REQUESTING COUNCIL TO PROVIDE MORE MOTORCYCLE PARKING IN THE SOUTH BRISBANE AND WEST END TWO-HOUR ZONES
14. A petition requesting that Council provide more motorcycle parking in the South Brisbane and West End two-hour zones, was presented to Council at its meeting of 12 November 2013 by Councillor Milton Dick on behalf of Councillor Helen Abrahams, and received.
15. The Manager, Transport Planning and Strategy Branch, Brisbane Infrastructure Division, provided the information below.
16. The petition contains 88 signatures. The petitioners have requested that Council consider the following four proposals:
1. That free unlimited parking be available for all motorcycles in the two-hour parking zone in streets where there are no car parking bays provided.
2. That one-to-two motor car bays be changed to cycle bays (four-to-eight cycles) in the two-hour parking zone of West End and South Brisbane in every two-to-three streets where car parking is provided.
3. That on roads within the two-hour parking zone in West End and South Brisbane, one car bay be made into cycle bays in every two streets which run off that road.
4. That motorcycle fines be either voided or reduced to something which reflects the size of the motorcycle, for example, $30 fines.
17. Council encourages commuters to use efficient modes of transport when travelling to and from work, and understands motorcycles are an increasingly important form of travel. The Lord Mayor has committed to 400 free parking spaces for motorbikes and scooters being installed in the inner city by June 2016.
18. The Transport Planning and Strategy Branch is responsible for the planning and implementation of the project including site assessments, responding to community queries and managing and coordinating the technical delivery of the project. The objective of this project is to improve motorcyclists accessing and utilising inner city areas for parking motorcycles, by implementing marked spaces with approved Manual of Uniform Control Traffic Devices (MUCTD) parking signage to avoid unsafe or illegal parking practices.
19. Since May 2012, Council has installed 197 free motorcycle parking spaces in the CBD, South Brisbane, Dutton Park and Fortitude Valley. This brings the total number of motorcycle parking spaces to over 850. Additionally, Council offers reduced rates for motorcycles to park in Council’s off-street car parks and in the identified metered motorcycle bays.
20. Council’s website has been updated with an interactive map of the current locations of motorcycle parking in the inner city along with other motorcycle parking information. You can find this page by searching ‘motorcycle parking’ on the Council website.
21. Council is aware of a demand for free motorcycle parking within the South Brisbane area. Approximately 84 formalised motorcycle spaces are currently available in the South Brisbane area, however further potential locations for parking motorcycles have been identified and are being investigated by Council. These locations are on Russell Street, Montague Road at Kurilpa Park, Tribune Street, Colchester Street, Hope Street and within Musgrave Park.
22. A site identified for the project by Council near Montague Road within Kurilpa Park is located on State land at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), South Brisbane. The Queensland Government has recently supported Council’s proposal for 30 new motorcycle spaces in this area. Council and State representatives will now formalise an agreement and progress the installation of 30 new motorcycle bays. This location will no doubt assist with the ongoing demand for parking motorcycles in the South Brisbane area and Council has every intention to locate more suitable motorcycle bays in the South Brisbane and West End areas.
23. Council does not have a policy that states that specific parking should be installed near offices and or other businesses. It can be challenging to find locations that meet Council’s motorcycle parking guidelines for the installation of parking spaces on the footpaths. Sites chosen for motorcycle parking must leave adequate footpath space for the safe movement of pedestrians. A typical site analysis includes checking statutory planning, flood conditions, environmental impacts, utilities, traffic and safety regulations and legislation.
24. Over many years, traffic areas have been introduced by Council in select areas of the inner city. In these traffic areas, on-street parking is limited resource and Council faces the challenge of providing permits to residents while balancing the genuine need for access to on-street parking for the broader community and businesses.
25. The Central Traffic Area (CTA) regulates parking within the designated area by using large signs erected on the boundaries of the area. Under the law, Council is not required to place signs on every street within the CTA. Installing and maintaining signs on every street are very costly. Parking in the CTA is restricted to two hours from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and 7am to 12pm (noon) Saturday, unless otherwise signed.
26. The Gabba Ward is situated across two traffic areas: the CTA and The Gabba Traffic Area (GTA). The GTA was introduced in 2000, coinciding with the redevelopment of The Gabba Stadium. A two-hour parking limit applies to all unsigned parking areas in the area between the hours of 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, and a 15-minute time limit applies to all unsigned parking areas between the hours of 7am and 10pm on game days. Large signs are placed on entry points to the GTA, notifying motorists that these restrictions are in place.
27. Within both areas, the time limits help to manage the demand for parking and ease parking congestion on weekdays and game days by encouraging a turnover of parking spaces. This creates better access to on-street parking opportunities for residents and their visitors.
28. Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009 (TORUM) a motorcycle is defined as a vehicle. Therefore, a motorcycle is considered a vehicle when determining the penalty amounts for any vehicle that commit an offence. For a different penalty unit amount to be applied to a motorcycle, there would need to be a separate definition and penalty amount. As TORUM is administered by the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads, it is outside Council’s jurisdiction.
Funding 29. Funding is available from the current budget under Program 2 – Moving Brisbane, for the installation of 400 free motorcycling spaces by 2016.
Consultation 30. The Councillor for The Gabba Ward, Councillor Helen Abrahams, has been consulted and supports the recommendation below.
Preferred option 31. It is the preferred option that Council advise the petitioners that the Lord Mayor has previously given a commitment to deliver 400 free motorcycling spaces by 2016, including identifying future suitable sites in South Brisbane and West End areas.
32. Council will also refer the issue of the amount of penalty units for infringements issued to motorcycles to the Director-General, Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Customer impact 33. The petitioners’ concerns are addressed through Council continuing to work towards installing 400 free motorcycling spaces by 2016.
34. The Manager recommended as follows and the Committee agrees.
35. RECOMMENDATION: THAT THE PETITIONERS BE ADVISED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PREFERRED OPTION AND OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE REPORT.