Logan’s voice delivers much needed road fix

Published: 27 Mar 2017

The calls from Logan residents and businesses to fix two of Queensland’s worst roads have finally been heard.

A half-billion dollar agreement between the State and Federal governments to fund regional road upgrades, including the M1 southbound at the Gateway merge and the Mt Lindesay Highway, will relieve thousands of Logan residents and motorists.

City of Logan Mayor Luke Smith said the announcement was a victory for the city and the people who had fought long and hard for a decision to fix its dangerous roads.

“This is a great day for the City of Logan,” Mayor Smith said.

“Our community and our Council have spent years fighting for this decision, waiting for the day when higher tiers of government came to their senses and made these projects a priority.

“While we have waited for this day, these roads have claimed lives, hindered business, choked our regional economy to the tune of millions of dollars and frustrated motorists.

“While we have waited for this day, our city has grown at record pace, particularly the Flagstone and Yarrabilba communities off the Mt Lindesay Highway, areas the State Government flagged as Priority Development Areas in 2010.

“That’s why Logan City Council campaigned hard for action to widen the M1 bottleneck through Logan and upgrade the Mt Lindesay Highway.

“That’s why I was in Canberra again last week, like I have been before, pushing people on both sides of politics to break this funding impasse.”

Mayor Smith said the funding commitment marked an important milestone for Logan but insisted Council would continue to pressure the State and Federal governments to deliver upgrades that met community expectations.

“I’m sure politicians in William Street and Canberra are sick of hearing me bang on about the M1 and Mt Lindesay Highway so I’m happy to let them know they can expect to hear more of the same from me into the future,” he said.

“This announcement is a good start but let’s save the celebrations for when the work is done.

“The reality is our community have to live with these roads for awhile longer yet and people will be keen to know what these upgrades will look like and how they will connect with our existing road network.

“Council is looking forward to joining the discussions with its State and Federal counterparts as soon as is practically possible so we can have some input into how these city-shaping projects are delivered.”

Roads and Water Infrastructure Chairman, Councillor Phil Pidgeon, said the proposed Mt Lindesay Highway upgrade would need to be examined more closely.

“I question how the State Government claims it can widen the highway between Browns Plains and Beaudesert for the $20 million we’ve heard will be allocated from this package,” he said.

“That $20 million might just cover the witches hats or fix a small section of a service road and it really begs the question, what will that money actually pay for?

“Where’s the detailed plan for the Mt Lindesay Highway? Where’s the business case to get the right split for increased federal funding? Is this plan going to solve congestion or address safety issues that have claimed 20 lives since 2009?

“You can bet the $10 million promised by the Federal Government before the last election will go to a stop gap, band aid measure, rather than toward a business case for upgrading the entire highway from Rosia Road to Beaudesert.

“Far be from me to look a gift horse in the mouth but we don’t want to blindly jump on the back of this announcement and find out we’ve been riding a donkey in two years time.

“I can assure residents we will continue to push to see Mt Lindesay Highway recognised as a road of national importance so that it receives appropriate funding to reflect that status.”

In its roads announcement for South-East Queensland, the State Government said early works on the M1 Gateway Merge project were expected to start in November 2017 with major construction to begin following the Commonwealth Games.

The proposed widening of the Mt Lindesay Highway will occur between Browns Plains and Beaudesert, with further detail and timelines for both projects yet to come.