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Speech – Private Members’ Statements – Palmwoods CBD (17 November 2011)

Mr POWELL (Glass House—LNP) (3.10 pm): No doubt the Minister for Transport has seen an article in today’s Sunshine Coast Daily entitled ‘Govt and council in land fight’. Whilst perhaps the title is a little misleading, the article itself is very much on the money. Certainly, it is not the case that there is a fight. For many years now the council, and Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay in particular, and I have tried to negotiate with the state government to receive an outcome around the Palmwoods CBD. We all know the rail duplication is coming. Unfortunately, due to the $85 billion worth of debt racked up by this government and the $100 million a week in interest payments that it is making, that duplication is not going to be delivered until 2031. Unfortunately, there is a parcel of land that, as part of that duplication, could well be used to resolve some of the CBD issues that Palmwoods currently faces. Certainly, it could resolve some of the traffic issues as well.
The council has presented a number of opportunities to successive ministers for transport to try to get an outcome. We are seeking that block of land but, unfortunately, we are presented with blockage after blockage by QRail and the Department of Transport. The latest excuse is that that block is required as it is the only part on the north coast line where they could install a heavy lifting crane should there be a derailment. The council was even willing to offer an alternative block to establish such a loading zone if that was possible. We desperately need the minister and the Department of Transport to take action on this. The councillor and I would appreciate any intervention from the minister to get an outcome on this issue.
Until we do, certainly the Palmwoods CBD development is being held captive. It is not good enough for those in Palmwoods and it is not good enough for the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.

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