State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today released details of an Answer to a Question on Notice by Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads in which the Minister said that ‘---public consultation will occur as the project progresses.’ in regard to the Landsborough Overpass.
“There is no timeline, no budget and no consultation, only uncertainty for the people of Landsborough,” Mr McArdle said.
“On 26th April 2019 I held a forum in Landsborough on the Overpass and in a letter from the Minister which I received on 18 April concerning the public forum, the Minister said;
‘Community feedback plays of course a key role in initiatives and projects undertaken by TMR. The B2N (Beerburrum to Nambour) project team will actively engage with the community in order achieve the best outcome for everyone involved, however, it is premature to attend a public meeting at this time.’
“Strange they held a sham consultation in late 2016 announce the overpass proposal to a targeted audience but two and a half years later it is suddenly ‘premature’ to ask the public what they want.
“Before the forum I also asked the Minister a Question on Notice as to when consultation would happen and he said;
‘I can confirm, however, that the Department of Transport and Main Raid (TMR) is progressing a detailed design that proper consultation will occur as the project progresses.’
“To my knowledge there has been no public consultation since late 2016 when people were forwarded letters saying their land could be affected and only a limited number of people were notified that they could attend a public consultation event.
“This is not good enough, notices have been issued to people saying their property may be resumed. This affects both residential and commercial businesses on both sides of the crossing. Where the Overpass lands, on the western side of the crossing will have impacts upon businesses that have operated in Cribb Street and the vicinity for years.
“Businesses on the Eastern side of the crossing will also be impacted but the Labor Government doesn’t appear to care.
“To delay consultation only adds to people’s concerns and ignores the fact that because of the notices land values are affected.
“People have retired to Landsborough on the clear understanding that they would live in a semi-rural area in a quite environment and would at a future date be able to sell their property to meet their ongoing costs.
“The refusal by the Government to consult and inform them of what is happening will cripple their ability to plan for the future.
“The question for businesses is equally dire. The Overpass may have significant impacts on businesses on both sides of the rail crossing which could result in a Beerwah-style economic situation.
“The Labor Governments action in Beerwah, when they suddenly closed the rail crossing in the middle of the night, greatly impacted the economy and took years for it recover.
“The people of Landsborough deserve better than this. They have worked and are working at the moment to ensure their future security. The lack of any consultation on the premise that it is ‘premature’ is an absolute disgrace when one considers the obligation of all governments is to protect and ensure the best outcome for their citizens,” Mr McArdle concluded.