I am acutely aware of the strong opposition of residents across the Toowoomba Region in relation to the Toowoomba North South Transport Corridor (TNSTC).
Unfortunately, the State Government has failed to work with the community on this important matter, despite the significant impacts on residents, land holders, farmers and businesses.
I cannot support a project that does not have the support of the community. I have written to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, urging him to ensure his department goes back to the drawing board and consults with our community.
I recently hosted a community forum, with Trevor Watts, the Member for Toowoomba North, to hear directly from residents about this issue. It is clear: the Palaszczuk Government has failed to consult.
Based on the information available to residents, the proposed route is not acceptable and the Government must go back to the drawing board. As part of this process, there must be genuine consultation with the community.
A proposed alternative transport route has long been discussed, to cater for the ongoing growth in the region. A proposal with specific details on impacted properties (if any) and where has not previously been provided.
As a result, residents have been caught by surprise, understandably they want answers from the State Government and officials responsible for planning this project.
The congestion and road safety issues in our community require investment. But all levels of government must work with the community to identify solutions. I am of the view that there is a better way and we must find a solution that does not destroy lives.
Due to the significant residential and commercial growth across the region in the last decade, there is a need to develop transport solutions that ensure safety, ease congestion and protect our regional lifestyle.
This issue should be cause for governments at all levels to reconsider adequacy of existing planning regulations, land rights and compensation protections.
On health, crime, and infrastructure – this is yet another reminder to our community that the Palaszczuk government is not listening to Queenslanders.