Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has released its infrastructure wish list in the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election.
Council has outlined five key local and three regional and national projects as priorities it would like to see funded in the Toowoomba Region:
1. Bowenville - Moola and Dalby - Nungil road upgrades (Maranoa - approximately $24 million)
2. Continuation of East Creek Masterplan - Upgrade of Neil Street Culvert (Groom -approximately $12 million)
3. Perseverance Raw Water Main Renewal (Maranoa - approximately $78 million)
4. Railway Parklands Stage 2 (Groom - approximately $30 million)
5. Escarpment Trails and Tourism (Groom - approximately $25.7 million)
National and Regional Priorities:
6. 1% Taxation guarantee for local government (all electorates)
7. Constitutional recognition of Local Government (all electorates)
8. SEQ City Deal (all electorates in South East Queensland)
TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said the Toowoomba Region is one of Queensland’s most vibrant and diverse regional communities.
“We are fortunate that the Federal Government was already a significant investor in our region through their assistance with local projects,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Council believes that further investment by the Federal Government is vital to cater for our future growth and seize the wealth of opportunity before us.”
Mayor Antonio said that greater access for Higher Productivity Vehicles (HPVs) has been a high priority for government, industry, freight operators and end users of freight services because of the productivity gains and cost savings they generate.
“However, many freight journeys commence or end on local roads and an inability to operate HPVs for the entire journey can substantially reduce the productivity gains,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Toowoomba Regional Council is seeking support from the Federal Government for a key freight route, the Bowenville-Moola Road and Dalby-Nungil Road.
“These roads of regional significance provide strategic industry access to seven cattle feedlots and four piggery operations.
“New investment in these key freight routes will strengthen the economic growth of key industries in the Toowoomba and Western Downs Regions.”
Mayor Antonio said the 2011 floods were devastating and we are determined to build flood immunity into our Region.
“The upgrade of the Neil Street Culvert will mitigate against future flooding events and keep our community safe,” Mayor Antonio said.
“To help build community resilience in a flood event, Council requests support for the upgrade of Neil Street culvert.
“The upgrade is the next stage of the East Creek Flood Mitigation Masterplan and will include:
- An intersection upgrade of Neil Street and New England Highway (Chalk Drive)
- Replacement and upgrade of existing box culverts to improve flood mitigation
- Improvements to traffic configuration of intersection; and improved connectivity of pedestrian and cycleway networks.”
Mayor Antonio said water security was vital to our Region and Council was requesting support for the renewal of the Perseverance raw water main.
“Built in 1968, this important 28 km trunk main has been declining in performance and needs substantial renewal,” Mayor Antonio said.
“An upgrade to the Perseverance raw water main will provide improved water security for the Toowoomba Region.”
Mayor Antonio said the development of economic infrastructure would ensure our Region’s future growth.
“The Toowoomba Railway Parklands Project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that has the potential to transform our city unlike anything we have seen in the past 100 years,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Stage 2 will see the commencement of parkland development to the north of the Goods Shed, a spiral bridge over the rail tracks, water play plaza (including multi-use night markets and events space), an outdoor dining precinct and a bridge to Campbell Street.
Mayor Antonio said the beauty of the Toowoomba Range is a natural advantage for our Region.
“Council is seeking support from the Federal Government to initiate three significant nature-based tourism and trails projects across the Toowoomba City escarpment,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Investment in our escarpment trails, picnic point parklands and the first stage of Bridge Street Quarry Gardens will help to unlock the potential of nature-based tourism opportunities across our escarpment parks.”
Mayor Antonio said that as a national priority, Council supported the Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) objective of ensuring local governments’ sustainability through a 1% taxation guarantee for local government as well as constitutional recognition of local government.
“Local government currently receives just over half a percent (0.55%) of the Federal Government’s total taxation revenue,” Mayor Antonio said.
“In total local government raises 3% of all the taxation revenue in Australia and is required to manage 33% of public assets. In comparison, the Federal Government collects 80% of taxes and manages 11% of public assets.”
Mayor Antonio said regionally the population of South East Queensland (SEQ) was the home of one in seven Australians and we crave better connectivity to this growing area.
“Council supports the SEQ Council of Mayors’ proposal for a City Deal that brings together all levels to find new funding options for economic and social infrastructure in our growing region,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Council considers the best opportunity to fund the future infrastructure that will assist connectivity is through the SEQ City Deal.
“The SEQ Council of Mayors City Deal proposal identified three projects that will have a direct impact on improved connectivity for our Region:
- Warrego Highway Upgrade Projects – Ipswich to Toowoomba
- Bus Rapid Transit – Ipswich to Toowoomba
- Faster Rail - Ipswich to Toowoomba.
“Council seeks a commitment from the Federal Government to continue negotiating an SEQ City Deal with the aim of signing an agreement in early 2020.
“The priority projects included in Council’s 2019 Federal Election submission are initiatives that will enhance our Region’s economic strength and improve the lifestyle of our residents as our community moves into an exciting chapter.
“Toowoomba Regional Council looks forward to working with the forty-sixth Parliament of Australia to make the Toowoomba Region an even better place to live, work and play,” Mayor Antonio concluded.
For more information about the key priorities for the Toowoomba Regional Council, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/federalelection