Thank you Mr Chair – It is my pleasure to speak on Transport for Brisbane and in particular, a number initiatives that relate to my Ward of Pullenvale including bus services and PPT,  the Active School and Safer Paths to School programs and the green bridges programme.

Let me start with the latter and congratulate Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner for listening to the views of my community and making what was the right decision in regards to the Bellbowrie to Wacol Green Bridge.

In doing so, he has demonstrated responsible economic management by ensuring valuable funds won’t be spent on a project that a clear majority of my residents didn’t want.

I get that it must have been a difficult decision for him, given the significance of the Green Bridges initiative as part of his broader vision for a cleaner, greener Brisbane, which I wholeheartedly support.

The Green Bridges in the other four locations have been widely supported in their respective communities and rightly so, and will be wonderful and well utilised additions to the City landscape.

But in my Ward, the situation and circumstances were totally different.

Upon my election as the Pullenvale Ward Councillor in April, the Lord Mayor and I had a discussion about the proposed Bellbowrie Green Bridge.

I told him, based on the feedback I was receiving, that the community didn’t want it. So my first task as the new Councillor was to conduct a second round of public consultation before a final decision was made about this bridge.

The Lord Mayor assured me community feedback would very much be taken into account before making this decision, and that was proven to be the case.

For the record, the results of the second round of consultation were even more conclusive than the first, which was undertaken late last year.

I conducted “targeted” consultation in those areas within the Ward most likely impacted or which had a vested interest or was most likely to use the bridge. That included the suburbs of Bellbowrie, Moggill, Anstead and Pinjarra Hills but that didn’t mean that people from other parts of the ward couldn’t voice their opinion. I encouraged as many locals as possible to have their say.

In all, we received 1,301 responses – more than 2.5 times the number in the first round of consultation – which gave us a strong sample and an even more definite outcome.

In summary the results were:

  • 80% were opposed to the Green Bridge with only 20% in favour
  • 61% said they would never use a Green Bridge only 22% said very occasionally
  • Of the 1,037 “no” responses, 38% wanted a car bridge instead while a further 31% wanted Moggill Road improved instead.

Through you Mr. Chair, Cr. Cassidy gives me more credit that I deserve for quote “knocking off this green bridge”. My community spoke, I represented on their behalf and this administration responded. Simple as that.

But the message I got loud and clear was while they were opposed to a Green Bridge, there is still strong underlying support for a bridge that takes all vehicles.

A number of respondents didn’t understand or accept that Council’s Green Bridges Programme was never intended to take vehicles. It was always about connecting Bellbowrie and Moggill residents to walking and cycling options and public transport services on the eastern side of the river.

I will work closely with my local Federal and State representatives and advocating for Council support of projects that can be part of the long-term solution to get residents home quicker and safer with more choices when it comes to travel.

Mr Chair, in relation to Personalised Public Transport, page 23 Service

Upon my election, I requested an update on the Western Pullenvale Ward Suburbs Community Consultation that was undertaken between August and November last year.

The intent of this engagement was to gauge how public transport services are being experienced by residents in my Ward and was similar to what was undertaken the year before with the Centenary Community consultation.

Currently, there are two bus services that service this part of my ward – the P443 – the Moggill to the City prepaid rocket, and the 444:  Moggill to City BUZ.

There is also a Personalised Public Transport service that operates between Karana Downs and Bellbowrie. This is a ‘hail and ride’ loop service that Council provides to help fill those missing links in the network, and helps connect residents to their local transport hubs like for example the Bellbowrie shopping centre. 

This service operates where traditional or conventional services by Translink are limited.

The overwhelming feedback I get from my residents in relation to public transport is about the lack of access to services and in my ward, a lot of parts are low density or rural due in part to sitting outside of the State Government’s urban footprint, which means that there is high car ownership.

I have indicated to Council officers my willingness to take trips on all of the public transport services within my Ward to better understand the situation and identify potential deficiencies.

But for now, I am keen to understand the next steps from the Western Pullenvale Transport community engagement and going back to the community with the outcomes of the engagement and to see if PPT can be delivered as part of this budget.

Mr Chair, in relation to Safer Paths to School

Through this budget, Council continues to support everyone getting involved in active travel right across Brisbane, including my Ward.

I’m pleased in particular that Moggill State School will benefit from a $136,000 investment in footpath improvements through Council’s ‘Safer Paths to Schools’ program this year – supporting teachers, students and families can get to school on safe and connected pathways and leave the car at home.

Onto Bikeways reconstruction

This budget sees $30 million toward suburban bikeway links, including reconstruction.

This will go a long way to improving our bikeways close to home, including in Pullenvale ward and particularly in Kenmore.

I have been liaising with Chris Cox from the West Brisbane Bicycle Users Group on potential solutions for cyclists locally.

Councillors might recall accidents on Moggill Road in recent years where cyclists unfortunately have lost their lives.

Chris and BUG have some innovative ideas around this and I know my colleague, Cr. Murphy is keen to hear them.

In conclusion Mr. Chair, it is a pleasure to serve on the Public and Active Transport Committee and I commend Cr. Murphy for the enthusiasm and passion he brings to the Committee as its Chair. 

Thank you.