Tue, 03 Nov 2015 - 22:00
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Transcript - Mango Hill Station Opening

JACKIE TRAD:  Okay, fantastic. It’s great to be here at Mango Hill today, this is the first completed station of the Moreton Bay Rail Link, and it’s fantastic to be here with the Federal Minister for Major Projects, Paul Fletcher,

as well as the Mayor for Moreton Bay Regional Council, Allan Sutherland, my ministerial colleague Yvette D’Arth, who’s just over there, and all of the federal and state and council representatives today.

This is a milestone in terms of the delivery of the Moreton Bay Rail Link project. It’s a project that the local community has advocated for over 100 years, and it was only made possible because of a collaborative approach from the Federal Government, the State Government, and Council. And what we will see next year is that this piece of really important public transport infrastructure will be up and running. What this means is that there will be more than 650 train trips leaving the region every week. It will mean that in terms of bus and train integration that there will be an additional 150 bus trips in the region per week- per day sorry, which is quite incredible.

So this piece of infrastructure will deliver untold benefits to the region. It will encourage more development along the rail line, it will have a shared path of over 12 kilometres so pedestrians and cyclists can use it, and most importantly for every train that’s full of commuters it takes about 600 cars off the road, and that’s quite phenomenal.

Now Paul, I’d like to invite you to say a few words.

PAUL FLETCHER: Well thank you very much Jackie. Well I’m very pleased to be here with Jackie Trad, the Deputy Premier, with Allan Sutherland, the Mayor of the Moreton Bay Regional Council, of course my friend and colleague Luke Howarth, the Member for Petrie, who has been such a strong advocate for this project and the needs of his community.

This is, as Jackie Trad has said, a very good example of Commonwealth, state, and local government cooperation. This is a $988 million project, this 14 kilometre rail link, six stations, and it’s very exciting to be here at the unveiling of the first of those stations, Mango Hill. We’ve had a chance to have a look at it today, it’s a very impressive facility, all the latest design features, and I’m sure it’s going to be very intensively used by the local community. The Federal Government is very pleased to be contributing $593 million dollars to this project, together with funding from the Queensland Government and the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Infrastructure facilities are terribly important to deliver economic efficiency and productivity, but also to help Australians and Queenslanders enjoy a better life – getting to work more quickly, getting home more quickly to spend time with the family, getting to where you need to go on time, efficiently, and the Moreton Bay Rail Link is certainly an example of that. I’m very pleased to be here at the opening, or the unveiling I should say, of the Mango Hill Station, and of course looking forward to the opening of the rail link next year. I might ask my friend and colleague Luke Howarth just to say a few words from his perspective as the Member for Petrie.

LUKE HOWARTH: Well thanks Paul. It’s wonderful to be here today as the Federal Member for Petrie, along with all my state colleagues. And of course the Mayor of Moreton Bay and the councillors in this area, we know that when we’re out and about talking to locals in this community that what they keep telling us is that congestion is an issue, infrastructure is an issue. And as the Deputy Premier and the Minister have said, this project will bring 600 cars off the road every time a train pulls out of this station, and it means that local people living in Mango Hill, North Lakes, and right along this new peninsula rail link will be able to spend more time reading, studying, using their time more productively rather than being stuck in traffic.

But I just say that this is a wonderful milestone with the first station opening, and we look forward to the first train pulling out of this station next year. Thank you.

JACKIE TRAD: I might just ask Allan Sutherland, the Mayor, to say a few words if you don’t mind Allan.

ALLAN SUTHERLAND: Thanks very much Minister, and thanks for coming to our great region. We always welcome you when you come with open chequebooks where we can work together. And this is a great example of three tiers of government working together. And as a matter of fact, the last time a piece of infrastructure like this was opened in the region you were listening to one of these, and Johnny Farnham was singing You’re the Voice, and you were paying with this. Remember this? The old dollar. And that’s what we were using; 30 years ago-plus was the last time a piece of major infrastructure was opened like this in Moreton Bay region. So I welcome both the State and Federal Government, working together for the great outcome for the members of this community. Thank you.

JACKIE TRAD: Of course someone who has advocated for this project for almost a decade now is Yvette D’Arth, the Member for Redcliffe, and I might just ask Yvette to say a couple of words as well. Thank you.

YVETTE D’ARTH:  Well it’s wonderful and have representatives from all three levels of government. This has been a long fight. Over 100 years the community has cried out for this sort of infrastructure and this rail line. Now it is a reality. We have draft time tables out there for consultation, today we are unveiling the first of the six new stations for the Moreton Bay Rail Link. This is wonderful for so many reasons: it’s good for the environment, it’s good for quality of life, it’s getting cars off road, it’s a safer way to get home, or to get to work and get home each day. This is going to open up the whole Moreton Bay region, and I just thank the Moreton Bay Regional Council, the State Government, and the Federal Government for partnering in this program. It is the only way to build a public infrastructure, by having these partnerships, by making sure that all three levels of Government are stepping up and committing to funds to build this sort of infrastructure.

JACKIE TRAD: We might take some questions Minister.

QUESTION: How smooth will the integration be between this rail link, and cycleways and bus routes?

JACKIE TRAD: Well this has been completely designed, the Moreton Bay Rail Link has been completely designed to integrate bus, pedestrian, cycle transportation. So what we are doing in terms of having put timetables out for consultation is we’re having a public consultation process around that integration, so that we’ve got buses connecting with the 650-plus train trips leaving this region, these services, these stations every week. What we do know as well is that the shared path, over 12 kilometres of shared path will mean that cyclists, pedestrians can use adjacent infrastructure to access Moreton Bay Rail Link train stations as well as the buses. And you’ll see the bus shelters just out the front there.

QUESTION: It’s a bit of a tease, DP, having this built to such a finished standard that the train’s not running. Was it ever investigated to have the trains run in a staggered way as the stations were completed, why can’t we get the trains on the tracks faster?

JACKIE TRAD: Well, quite frankly, it’s because we actually need all the stations up and running. It’s going to be quite a segmented and fractured way to open up a big piece of public transport infrastructure if you’ve got a segmented or implemented way of opening up. I do have to say, Shane, that people won’t have to wait very long before the whole complete project is open. We need to make sure in terms of the safety of passengers and workers on the station that it’s all open and tested incredibly well.

So, we need to make sure that that happens in all of the electrical wiring and the duplication of the stations is safe. So, the only way to do that is to have the whole system up and running and have it up and running safely.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, when do the trains then start running?

JACKIE TRAD: Well, it will start early next year.

PAUL FLETCHER:  I might just add to that, as the Deputy Premier has said, it is very important that a project like this operates in integrated fashion. It’s obviously designed to operate in six stations. There are important safety reasons why you wouldn’t want to get started until it was all in place and ready to go and of course the efficiency of the construction process as well was what we want to do was get it built and operational as quickly as possible.

ALLAN SUTHERLAND: And the main turn around facility is at the end of the line at the Green Station so it’s pretty well impossible to run at that main interchange at the end of the line.

QUESTION: Deputy Premier, Bill Shorten’s promising money for the Townsville Stadium, do you think Mr Turnbull will too?

JACKIE TRAD: Well, I think I’m the wrong Minister to ask here; look I absolutely welcome Bill Shorten’s commitment to provide federal government funding if Labor should win the next federal election for the Townsville Stadium. We all know that this is a very important piece of social infrastructure for the Townsville community. Not only because they have a premiership footy club but also because it will mean much needed jobs in a region that is struggling in the resource downturn. So, we welcome this commitment by Federal Labor and we know that the Federal Government currently is assessing information provided by the state as well.

So, we hope that they assess that with an open mind.

QUESTION: Mr Howarth?

LUKE HOWARTH: Can I – well, I’ll just say from my point of view, the Federal Government’s managed to throw in four million for the Redcliffe Dolphins Stadium out here which is fantastic for jobs and local business and tourism in the area and so yeah, from my point of view, it’d be great if the state could throw in two million to complete that as well and that’d be what we need to get it up and running very, very quickly.

PAUL FLETCHER: And I might just add one comment, clearly the Commonwealth Government works with state governments all around the country in relation to major projects. We have an established process under which we ask state governments to come forward with proposals, backed by business cases which is assessed by Infrastructure Australia. We work closely with the Queensland Government and we rely upon the advice of Infrastructure Australia. So I’m not going to be prejudging the advice of Infrastructure Australia.