Funding priorities identified in 2017 State election submission

Truck on country road

The Toowoomba Region is one of Queensland’s most vibrant and diverse regional communities. The area is experiencing unprecedented growth, with the current rate of development, testament to the region’s potential. Our task, as a local government, is to provide the community’s essential services in an economically responsible manner and Council believes that further investment by the State Government is vital in allowing the community to seize the wealth of opportunity before us.

Key priorities

The priority projects included in this submission are initiatives that will enhance Toowoomba’s economic strength and improve the lifestyle of our residents as our community moves into an exciting new chapter.

  • Warrego Highway Flood Mitigation Program Upgrading of James Street Culverts on East and West Creeks (Toowoomba South; Toowoomba North)

  • Further funding for the next stage of the Toowoomba Railway Parklands Urban Renewal Project and PDA (Toowoomba North)

  • Highfields / Gowrie Growth Areas Connection Project (Toowoomba North)

  • Toowoomba Enterprise Hub Central Precinct Connection Project (Condamine) (O’Mara Road to Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road – business case in development)
    Proceeding to next stage of consideration under State’s Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program

  • Bowenville-Moola Rd, Dalby-Nungil Rd and Bowenville-Norwin Rd Upgrades Project (Condamine)

Total project estimate: $18 million
Electorates - Toowoomba South & Toowoomba North

Toowoomba Regional Council is requesting the upgrade of the James Street (Warrego Highway – National Highway) culverts on East and West Creeks Toowoomba, in order to provide maximum benefit for flood mitigation projects on those waterways.

The proposed culvert upgrades are the last critical element in Council’s Gowrie Creek Catchment Flood Mitigation project upstream of the Toowoomba CBD.

Council is of the understanding that the Department of Transport and Main Roads have completed planning for these two crossing projects.

The concept cost estimate for upgrading the West Creek culvert and associated channel works is $7 million for a nominal 100-year immunity. The concept cost estimate for upgrading the East Creek culvert and associated channel works is $11 million for a nominal 100-year immunity.

Total project estimate: $24 million
Electorate - Toowoomba North

The Toowoomba Railway Parklands project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that will transform our city unlike anything we have seen in the past 100 years. The 50 hectare parcel of land, bounded by Russell, Neil, Campbell, Ruthven, Bridge and Mort streets, has been identified as an opportunity to invigorate business investment, employment opportunities and boost the housing sector within an under-utilised area of the Central Business District.

The first stage of development of the Railway Parklands PDA incorporates the restoration of the 120 year old Railway Goods Shed. This work is underway and Council is grateful for the State Government’s contribution to this first stage. Stage 2 will see the commencement of parkland development to the north of the Goods Shed:

  • Spiral Bridge over the Rail Tracks
  • Water Play Plaza (including multi-use night markets and events space)
  • Outdoor Dining Precinct
  • Bridge to Campbell Street

Total project estimate: $28 million
Electorate - Toowoomba North

Council’s strategic planning provides for significant growth (a further 9,000 residents over the next 20 years and 4,000 new dwellings) in the Northern Communities of Toowoomba which includes the Highfields, Gowrie Junction and Meringandan areas. Such growth is expected to generate 40,000 additional vehicle trips per day on the transport network. Of these, 30,000 will travel between these northern communities and key destinations in the CBD, the Toowoomba Enterprise Hub (TEH), and to other destinations (both within and outside the region) via the State-controlled transport network which includes the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC).

To this end, Council’s Sustainable Transport Strategy identifies a need for a transport network link between Old Goombungee Road and Mort Street to provide an alternative access for the Northern Communities of Highfields, Gowrie
Junction and Meringandan to Toowoomba City, the TEH and the State-controlled transport network including the TSRC.

The Highfields / Gowrie Growth Areas Connection Project involves the Construction of a new link bridge providing a transport connection between Mort Street and Old Goombungee Road ($21 million) and Old Goombungee Road safety improvements ($7 million) to the New England Highway.

It is worth noting that there is general consensus with the Department of Transport and Main Roads that the project provides benefits to both the local and state road networks.

Total project estimate: $18 million
Electorate: Condamine

The 1,800 hectare Toowoomba Enterprise Hub (TEH), located west of Toowoomba has already attracted a diverse range of development and industries including the following:

  • Transport and intermodal transport facilities;
  • Data hub and technology park;
  • Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport; (facilitating agricultural exports to Asia)
  • Food processing facilities;
  • Service industries to support the major infrastructure projects and the agricultural and mining sectors.

The Northern Precinct of the TEH will incorporate a major intermodal terminal that will act as a conduit between road, air and rail freight movement and see the development of an ‘Inland Port’ connecting resource companies, agricultural enterprises and ancillary businesses to the Port of Brisbane. The Northern and Southern precincts of the TEH are linked through its central precinct via O’Mara Road. Additionally, O’Mara Road provides a high order connection for vehicles to and from the State controlled transport network including the following:

  • The Toowoomba-Cecil Plains (TCP) Road;
  • The Warrego Highway
  • The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC).

To establish a safe and efficient ‘as-of-right’ connection for multi-combination vehicles to travel between the northern, central and southern precincts of the TEH there is a need for the following upgrade work:

  • Construction of the final four lane section of O’Mara Road between the access to the Waste Management Centre and the TCP Road;
  • Construction of the upgrade of the TCP Road at the O’Mara Road intersection; and
  • Installation of traffic signals at the TCP Road and O’Mara Road intersection. Efficient transport connectivity between the northern, central and southern precincts of the TEH is essential to support projected growth and provide confidence for continued business investment in the region.

Total project estimate: $14 million
Electorate: Condamine

Greater access for Higher Productivity Vehicles (HPVs) has been a high priority for government, industry, freight operators and end users of freight services as a result 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 from origin to destination can substantially reduce the productivity gains which would otherwise be achieved.

Through the First and Last Mile Project undertaken by Toowoomba Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council and Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), several key heavy vehicle freight routes have been identified as having constraints due to the “first and last mile” aspects of the journey on the local government road network.One of these key freight routes identified in the Toowoomba Region is the Bowenville – Moola Road and Dalby-Nungil Road, north from the Warrego Highway that provides strategic industry access to seven cattle feedlots and four piggery operations. Currently HPVs access these two roads under permit arrangements only. In order for Performance Based Standard 3 (PBS 3) heavy vehicles to have as of right access, the roads need to be upgraded to an acceptable standard. This investment would see road safety upgrading to nearly 25km of roads including
widening of narrow sections and curves, rehabilitation of rough sections, intersection improvements and improvements to the approaches to Myall Creek.

Investment in this key freight route would strengthen economic growth of key industries in the Toowoomba and Western Downs Regions and provide broader support to the continued development of the State.

Longer term projects

  • Walking Tourism network in Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley, and Somerset areas.
    Electorates: Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South, Lockyer, Nanango, Scenic Rim, Ipswich (depending on scope)

  • Continuation of the Gowrie Creek catchment reinvigoration project downstream of the Mill Precinct.
    Electorate: Toowoomba North

  • Boundary Street North / TSRC Arterial Link Project – development of Business Case
    Electorate: Toowoomba North (early concept stage – note likely future overlap with Inland Rail node - proceeding to next stage of consideration under State’s Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program)

  • Toowoomba (Withcott) to Brisbane (Rosewood) passenger transport (Bus/Rail)
    Electorates: Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South, Ipswich West, and eastwards to Brisbane

  • Inland Rail – State support for Gowrie to Port of Brisbane section
    Electorates: Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South, Lockyer, Ipswich West, and eastwards to Brisbane

  • Transport upgrades in vicinity of Glenvale School, including South Street and extensions to Mc Dougall Street and Boundary Road south to connect to Drayton-Wellcamp Road.
    Electorate: Toowoomba South, Condamine

  • Environmental interpretive centre to promote indigenous culture and to enhance our escarpment – support needed for Business Plan
    Electorates: Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South, Lockyer

  • Smart Poles – emerging issue requiring political change of stance on infrastructure ownership to enable progress
    Electorate: State-wide

  • Quarry Gardens – development of Business Case
    Electorate: Toowoomba North – broad regional benefit

Proposals already in progress with the Government

  • Approval of New Acland Mine Stage 3
    Electorate: Condamine

  • Hydro Pumping Energy Storage Project
    Electorate: Toowoomba North

Related information

Election submission 2017

Media release

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