Phillip Thompson calls on Mark Bailey to meet with Black River Residents
Herbert MP Phillip Thompson is calling on Queensland State Labor Roads Minister Mark Bailey to use his visit to Townsville for community cabinet to meet with Black River residents who are still unhappy with the design of the Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade project.
The $107.65m project, 80% funded by the Federal Government, but designed and constructed by the Queensland Government, was intended to duplicate the Bruce Highway between Veales Road and Pope road and upgrade safety at local intersections.
Mr Thompson said he still hadn’t received a response to a letter he sent to the Minister in November on behalf of the community, after they raised concerns that the new design was unsafe. Hundreds of people have already signed a petition calling for an urgent pause on works.
“It’s a kick in the guts that a North Queensland community has made its opposition to the design of this project loud and clear, but the Minister responsible won’t do them the courtesy of going and meeting with them,” Mr Thompson said.
“When I wrote to Minister Bailey I had hoped for a quick response and that we could work productively together on this issue. Instead he has ignored correspondence and hasn’t even taken a quick trip down the road from his Cabinet meeting to listen to the people on the ground.
“The lack of consultation and communication has been a major source of anxiety for the Black River community and I would like to hope that the Minister would take the opportunity to meet with them before he heads back to the south-east corner.”
The proposed design would implement two U-turn facilities to allow traffic to change direction, but community members and heavy vehicle drivers have expressed concern about the 100km/h speed zone, and the significant acceleration and deceleration that would be required. The e-petition is available at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3440.