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Oxley Road to Nowhere

Submitted by Nicole Johnston on Tue, 07/02/2012 - 12:03pm

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has today confirmed secret plans to upgrade Oxley Road to four lanes over the next 11 to 20 years as part of Brisbane’s Long Term Infrastructure Plan 2012 – 2031.


Councillor Johnston said that Council’s plan, to be debated at today’s meeting, came without any consultation with local residents.


“Making Oxley Road four lanes without addressing the single lane choke point at the Walter Taylor Bridge is appalling planning. It will create a road to nowhere and cause further congestion and delay for residents,” Councillor Johnston said.


“Under the Lord Mayor’s plan, six lanes of traffic from an upgraded Oxley Road and Honour Avenue will feed into a single lane bridge that is already congested,” Councillor Johnston said.


“No information about the upgrade, its alignment or impacts has been made available to local residents for consideration.”

“The Lord Mayor needs to come clean immediately and advise residents if he is planning resumptions that will affect people’s homes and business.”


Councillor Johnston said it was just over one year ago that Council announced that as part of the Sherwood Graceville Neighbourhood Plan it would “investigate” an Oxley Road upgrade.


“Since June 2011 I have been asking for all Council files on the South-west Corridor study which includes Oxley Road. Council denied any such files existed, and now they have been caught out with the files, are refusing to produce them some eight months later.”


For further information please call Nicole Johnston 34038605 or 0407039198



 The plan lends credence to the idea that the vacant land adjacent to Wharf Rd at the river will be the landing for a new bridge. This means that Walter Taylor South will be divided by yet another traffic sewer in the Brisbane traffic sewerage system. Those east of Oxley Rd will be as remote from those on the west as Sinnamon Park is from Mt Ommaney. 
Our civic planners are mired in the 20th century and determined to prevent Brisbane from becoming a more livable city, instead a city divided by streams of cars with an underclass denied access to high quality public transport and roads that people can use. There is a determination to make Brisbane more like Djakarta than Paris or Amsterdam. 

As a very long term resident of Corinda I would like the Lord Mayor to pay a visit to the outer reaches of our suburb, preferably in weekday peak hours or Saturday morning. With new right hand turns at Clewley str and apparently at Martindale st, and four lanes trying to squeeze under the Sherwood railway pass, I would be interested to have him observe what happens, let alone try to cross Indro Bridge. And will the recent changes to Oxley road at Corinda now be scrapped to resume land for this new dream solution to our problems? Will new town houses and shops have to go? It is our money. Should we not have a say in such a dramatic proposal? Margaret

 Just to make it clear that demand for more road-space on Oxley Rd doesn't come from Walter Taylor residents and workers but from people who would otherwise use the two motorways, Ipswich and Centenary, to get to the CBD. Our suburbs are thus being sacrificed for not merely Brisbane residents but those from Ipswich and Logan, who don't pay the rates that finance this work. We pay, they enjoy. Should we be asking TMR to take Oxley Rd back as a state road and the state govt pay? Just as bad for amenity, but not so bad for the rates.
Funny how our LNP council has no qualms about debt while whining terribly about the state govt's debt burden!!

I'm not sure that giving the TMR control of Oxley Eoad would be a good idea, given that some parts of the organisation are still very much about moving cars as quickly as possible.

We have been investigating and found additional information on the Oxley Road expansion mentioned in the above article.
From the attached 2 maps for Sherwood and Corinda/Oxley it is identified that the 4 lane expansion of Oxley Road is planned between Sherwood Road and the Ipswich Motorway.  The reference road is known as project C30 and is scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2026.  The road expansion requires an additional 6 metres width to be found along the route in order to incorporate the 4 lanes, some of which has already been marked on maps as development of units, etc has occured along the route.
Additionally, this draft document shows the project as being estimated at $26m
We have been told that the planning study for Oxley Road is underway, but has not yet been completed.  It is due to be completed by the end of 2012. 
No information was available about whether there would be any planned community consultation around the changes to Oxley Road.

Cr Nicole Johnston, Speech to Council 7 February regarding the Long Term Infrastructure Plan 2012-2031.
I rise to speak about the Long Term Infrastructure Plan for Brisbane. Firstly, can I put on the record my concern that there is not one single piece of supporting documentation for a document that sets out this Council’s major capital works spend for the next 20 years available in the files for councillors to review - not one single document.
I know these documents exist because there is an email on the file which refers to the consultation files, the project tables and maps files and the previous drafts, two of them. These files have not been brought forward as is the usual practice in this Council chamber so councillors can review that material prior to debate.
I’ve asked the CEO and I’ll be certainly taking this matter up with the Queensland Ombudsman.
Why aren’t the draft plans available for us to look at? Why is the consultation—which it says in the report here before us today and this plan before us today was changed on the basis of that consultation—why is it not available in the files for us to look at?
What does this LNP administration have to hide? That is the question that I would like to know. Why have they refused to produce these files; a document that has billions of dollars of infrastructure that this Council is being asked to approve today?
In my view I know why too. There are a number of issues in this plan that are of serious concern to Tennyson Ward and I’m going to put them briefly on the record today.
Firstly, can I say that the four years of pain and suffering that residents in my ward endured during the development of the Sherwood Graceville Neighbourhood Plan have been chucked in the bin by this report today.
It is disgraceful that this Council is ignoring the views of the thousands of residents who contributed to that process and who expressed their concerns and in some cases their support for certain aspects.
Today they will be shocked—shocked—to learn that for the first time in direct contravention of the neighbourhood plan that Corinda is to be nominated as a community hub. It’s been put on the same level as Carindale, as a community centre.
Now let me say, Madam Chairman, that the Sherwood Graceville Neighbourhood Plan did nominate a spot within the neighbourhood plan as a community hub. Guess where that was, Sherwood, not Corinda.
So here we have—apparently we’ve had consultation with all the relevant departments and I see that Councillor COOPER was consulted, but in this case we now know why—this Council was forcing five storeys on residents. They have had a secret plan to upgrade the designation of Corinda as a major community hub. Now that is shameful.
Four years of consultation and was that discussed with the residents of my district, no. In fact, this Council has said it is Sherwood that should be the community hub in black and white and that has not occurred here today.
Second issue is that Oxley Road is going to be upgraded to four lanes. Now that means there’ll be six lanes of traffic travelling to and from the Walter Taylor Bridge; a single lane bridge. I’d like to know how those cars are going to get across a single lane bridge. There is no plan in this report for an upgrade of the bridge. It’s not on the 20 year future of this Council. What upgrading Oxley Road will do is to force more cars down Oxley Road, but there is absolutely not a single mention of what to do with the biggest choke point in the southern suburbs which is the Walter Taylor Bridge.
I’ve been seeking the South-West Corridor Transport Infrastructure Plan and this Council has not provided them to me to review. Why are they hiding information about the upgrade of Oxley Road? Why is it being announced today as one of 20 matters before this Council for debate?
Are there going to be any resumptions? Don’t these residents in Sherwood, in Corinda, in Oxley, in Chelmer, in Graceville—don’t they deserve to know what this Council’s plans are?
Well it is shameful that this Council is burying this decision in a report like this and does not have the courtesy to tell them upfront.
I’m extremely concerned that this report has now cancelled the proposed Sherwood Road upgrade which was due to commence in 2016. This report talks about the freight task in Brisbane doubling by 2026. One of the biggest freight generators in this city is the Brisbane Markets which is located halfway along Sherwood Road. This Council, in its wisdom, has also plonked a major industrial installation down on Sherwood Road called the Sherwood Bus Depot. Thousands more trucks, buses and cars are going to use Sherwood Road which has inadequate bridges and is single lane in substantial part.
Now in the 2008 transport plan issued by this Council it was in there for an upgrade. Where’s that gone? While this Council professes to support upgrade to support the freight task, it’s failed at the first measure and while these roads are going to have to cope with additional increases from major trucks, buses and cars, there is not a single thing being done.
So I’m extremely concerned at what’s been dropped off the 2007 plan without explanation at all.
I’m extremely concerned that the recommendations of the Rocklea Freight Study which the Lord Mayor and I committed to doing several years ago, have not been considered at all in here. Again to address the freight task we should be looking at a dedicated freight bridge between Ipswich Road and Fairfield Road to provide better access to the industrial areas for heavy vehicles. I’ve been lobbying for this as part of the Cross River Rail Program because it makes sense to do it at the same time, but that’s not getting anywhere at this stage.
It is a missing item in this long term plan. I just cannot understand why the freight task in the Sherwood - Rocklea area is being ignored and roads and bridges that cannot cope now are being ignored in a long term planning exercise in this city.
I’m also concerned about the Yeerongpilly TOD. Council is pushing ahead it appears for its TOD plans despite the fact that this program is put on hold because of the Flood Royal Commission. Today this Council is being asked to approve Yeerongpilly TOD as a major development centre on the south-western suburbs of Brisbane for a project that is on hold pending the recommendations of the Flood Royal Commission.
Now why are we approving a major new possibly residential and business area in our city that is absolutely flood prone, that have major drainage issues and that is under consideration by this Flood Royal Commission? Why are we being asked to approve it for major redevelopment in an infrastructure plan before the Flood Royal Commission has handed down its findings? That is shocking; absolutely shocking that this Council would be reckless to do that and to approve a course of action prior to the findings of the Flood Royal Commission being handed down. I’m appalled that that is the case.
Finally, there are 62 drainage programs mentioned for consideration. There’s only two in Tennyson Ward despite all the flooding we’ve had. Yeronga and Faulkner Park. Now I’m guessing they mean Faulkner Park, Graceville— if there’s another Faulkner Park elsewhere; I don’t know but I’ll assume that one is one of mine.
There’s no plans in here for very significant upgrades to our city and there are aspects of this plan that are in fundamental contravention of existing Council policy.
I’m extremely concerned that Tennyson Ward residents are going to be subjected to major Infrastructure changes without their knowledge.

I support the upgrade of Oxley Road. On any assessment, Oxley Road is a mess; two lanes merging into one then back to two. Two lanes one way and one the other, deviations for badly positioned safety zones, the bridge at Corinda, poor alignment. The list goes on......Anyone can see on which side resumptions will take place as it has already started when new development has occured. 2026 is too far away.
Ultimately there will be a new bridge at Indooroopilly crossing at between Wharf St and the Barracks and going under Indooroopilly Station.

Well, Peter, I hope that you will enjoy four lanes of heavy traffic bisecting your suburbs as Ipswich and Logan drivers flock onto the newly expanded road, to avoid the two motorways. If you stay in your car you'll just have to wait for the occasional break in the traffic to cross at an intersection, or go to a signalised intersection and wait for the lights to change. If you happen to walk from where you might live (and you obviously aren't going to be resumed for this widening) to a shop, bus stop or railway station on the other side, you might find the walk extended to get to a pedestrian refuge (no zebra crossings, of course, they slow down the cars, and you can't have that) or a signalised intersection. And, by the way, if you drive to Indro on the flash new bridge, you've got a quicker way to get to the congestion on Moggill Rd.
No road expansion has resulted in less congestion and more convenience - it's just attracted more of the same, especially if the road is a substitute for more public transport, as it certainly has always been in Brisbane. I'll be voting for anyone who promises to shift the balance of convenience away from cars and toward public and active transport. Sadly, that's no one at the moment.
Good luck on the fancy new lanes and bridges, mate. 

Sadly this doesn't come as any surprise to me. Anyone watching new developments on Oxley Rd in the last few years would have noticed that they've all been set back from the road - and I can only think of one reason why that would be the case.
I don't object to Oxley Rd being two lanes per se, but what's vital is how they are configured Will they provide cycle facilities? Will they provide enough shade on the footpaths? Will they allow for parking in the left lane? How easy will they be for pedestrians to cross? What will be the design speed of these roads? Will they encourage people to drive fast?
I'm guessing that the plans will encourage the traffic on Oxley Rd to move faster, to the detriment of people on foot and on cycle - leading to an unejoyable neighbourhood for all of us.
As to the rail bridge, I'd like to imagine that BCC have already had talks to QR, but from my experience, governments aren't always as organised as we imagine.

Dear Councillor Johnston
Thank you for your phone call and questions regarding Oxley Road in the BLTIP. The answers to your two questions are below:
1) would the widening involve resumptions?
The BLTIP is a long term strategic plan and the Oxley Rd widening is a concept only at this stage. Should it proceed at some time in the future the necessary investigative work would be undertaken into the widening and associated infrastructure requirements.
2) would an upgrade of the rail bridge at Corinda be required and if so has any consultation with QR occurred?
The rail bridge is a key constraint. However, as mentioned above, the upgrade is a concept only at this stage. Until we have an agreed approach and concept design for the initiative we would not be contacting external parties, including QR.
Thanks again for the questions