Yes, thank you, Madam Chair; I rise to speak on item A, which is the Hellawell Road-Avenue, Borella Road-Avenue intersection, which is basically the installation of two sets of traffic lights. This was an election commitment at the last election, and I’m very grateful to the LORD MAYOR and the team for allowing that to be processed into the budget as an election commitment. The project is now under way.
The residents who live out this way have been after this for more than 15 years. In fact, Gary Hardgrave, when he was the Federal member for Moreton, had done a petition way back prior to 2007, asking for traffic lights at the particular intersection which was actually Hallowell Road and The Avenue. At that point in time, The Avenue was basically a one-way in, one-way out situation, so everyone that lived in that area relied on breaks in the traffic on this extremely busy road, Hallowell Road, to get out of their homes, basically. So it’s been a long time coming, and I’m very grateful.
As an extraordinary turn of events, as it turned out, when they were looking at the project, they were able to identify that Borella Road also had an issue, and that was mainly because there’s a really large school there, one of the largest primary schools in Brisbane, if not the south side, but potentially with McGregor—Sunnybank Hills, which has more than 1,000 students and they’re just a primary school. So a lot of people come from outside of the ward to go to Sunnybank Hills State School, and they were finding problems trying to get into Borella Road through to Symons Road from that street.
So it’s a really good outcome that we’re actually ending up with two sets of traffic lights as well as pedestrian signalised lights for all the children and the residents that live in that area. As the LM mentioned in his report, it’s fairly extensive work that he outlined. There’s two bus bays that have to be relocated; there’s footpaths, bicycle paths.
More particularly, this item A is dealing with the land resumption, and as we all know here in this place, land resumptions are not something that Council undertakes lightly, but it was something that needed to be done. It actually only involves one property, so one person, one homeowner who had some land. There were no houses involved. There was a block of land that they had themselves eyed up for development, so therefore they looked at the plan and thought if we went ahead and resumed that small section of their land, they wouldn’t be able to develop their piece of property to the full extent, namely driveways, et cetera.
So, yes, we could have gone in and just said to the officers: you know what, just take it because we need it for this thing, and it’s going to benefit many thousands of people. But that’s not the path we chose. The path we chose was one of consultation which, as everybody also knows in this place—or they should know—consultation takes a bit of extra time. So we came back with a compromise, and I said to the officers, let’s see if we can compromise and just maybe take some of their land and some of the land that’s next door to them, which actually included a pathway which was then owned by a body corporate, which then involved more than 15 houses. So, as you can imagine, again the consultation period extended.
So Council officers were getting concerned that it was starting to delay the project, because then we come into here and we get smashed from the other side about, you know, rollovers and projects not being finished in time, and carryovers and all this sort of stuff. But you know, unless you get into the nitty gritty and know exactly what’s going on with a particular project, you have no idea why there have been delays. So I am putting it on the record now.
If it comes out that there’s any delays at the end of this project, it’s purely and simply because we went out to consultation, not once with one resident but twice with a resident and a body corp. At the end of all that, we did manage a compromise. We have moved some of the land down slightly, taken resumptions from half here, half there, and we’ve now got a really good outcome. So, for the residents who live in that area, and not only just my area but other wards that are coming through, like the LORD MAYOR said, from Beaudesert Road. So that’s the Moorooka Ward with Councillor GRIFFITHS, your residents will be coming through there as well, heading to Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown, which is a really popular shopping centre; the Calamvale Ward residents coming through.
It will be a fabulous outcome, and I really, really thank not only the LORD MAYOR for the funding but also Councillor COOPER and the team there that have been working really hard with everybody in that area, because obviously there is no gain without pain, and it has been a bit painful, people trying to travel, not only one but two intersection upgrades, and I thank them for their patience, and I thank the team for the great work that they’re doing out in my space. Thank you.