Friday, 31 October 2008 13:33
I will not be attending planned protest against the Kenmore Bypass.
Thirty years ago next year plans to build the bypass and alleviate the chaos that local residents now experience every day were abandoned following similar protests.
Protesters have been given every opportunity to participate in the consideration of the Kenmore Bypass and to put forward their views.
They are uniquely placed by being represented on the Community Reference Group to put forward their views. Many other residents do not have this opportunity.
The anti-bypass group has closely aligned themselves with local Greens candidates and with the Greens political party with the aim of derailing efforts to fix the disastrous transport situation.
The Kenmore Bypass would provide the area’s first dedicated cycleway connecting our area to Brisbane as well as provide the opportunity for the areas first dedicated bus/transit lanes.
There is an existing road corridor and whilst I fully respect residents’ rights to protest, I am absolutely committed to the broader community having the right to have the corridor that has been preserved for thirty years for transport purposes considered for use to benefit the whole community.
I will not be lending my support to protests that are aimed at stopping our community rationally looking at fixing our road chaos and lack of public transport.
A bypass would halve the distance vehicles need to travel, would greatly reduce traffic emissions and green house gas emissions as vehicles avoid numerous sets of lights and collectively cut travel distance by 120,000 kilometres every day.
Given that the protest group has been afforded a position on the Community Reference Panel (which I have not) that is currently considering the project, efforts to gain publicity prior to the outcome of their own consultation should be seen for what it is.
It is all very well to grab some headlines and for protest groups and political parties like the Greens, trying to whip up fear about such a proposal.
It is not so easy to get the problem fixed. The problems of public transport and roads locally are so critical that we cannot allow the chance to fix them to be derailed by a scare campaign.
My priority is to get something done about appalling traffic congestion and critically inadequate local public transport and that is exactly what I intend to continue pursuing.
I hope that protesters are not again instrumental in causing another thirty years of inaction on local public transport and roads.