As I walk around the city and speak with residents one consistent topic that inevitably pops up is that of transport. Nobody likes sitting in traffic and with about 60 per cent of Redlanders leaving the city for work each day many of you know the frustrations of traffic congestion firsthand.
As a city of islands the transport needs of the Redlands is varied and involve all levels of government. It is no secret Council has long pushed for major infrastructure upgrades such as the duplication of rail services and the extension of the Eastern Busway – as yet these important projects are not committed to and as the south east corner grows their importance to our city becomes more and more apparent.
I believe the time has come for a city-wide conversation about our transport needs and over the coming weeks Council will be looking at ways to start that conversation. The aim will be on the community advocating for the city’s transport needs so we can develop a transport plan that ensures Council, along with the Federal and State Governments, continue to deliver the infrastructure our City needs now and into the future.
This is timely as our Draft City Plan 2015 is with residents for their input and both the State Government, through its review of the State Infrastructure Plan, and the Federal Government have recently brought the need for transport infrastructure planning to the fore.
As part of the State Government’s review, it has encouraged local government to engage with communities and Redland City will be among the first to do so through a month-long conversation. Council is partnering with the Redland City Bulletin to encourage the community to be part of the conversation, so keep an eye out in the paper, as well as on Council’s website for your chance to be part of our city’s future transport and road infrastructure needs.
As part of this conversation, there will be a series of forums headed by independent experts who will lead discussions on a range of transport and planning themes. They promise to be informative and, above all, engaging. They will be held across the city to give as many people as possible a chance to be involved
I want it to be clear that Council alone cannot fix all traffic congestion in the city. The State Government controls the four major roads and one rail line currently servicing the Redlands, as well as playing a major role in building local marine transport infrastructure. Private transport companies such as the ferries that service some of our islands are also part of our transport picture.
These different levels of responsibility and ownership is why it’s important this conversation be led by the community to ensure all concerns are canvassed and opportunities and ideas addressed. At the end of it, Redlanders will have led the formation of a plan for problems which need fixing now as well as safeguards for the future that the city can work towards through advocacy, lobbying, partnerships or even funding.
This is your city and so be part of its future. And while I’m on the topic of the city’s future don’t forget the draft city plan is still open for public consultation. Council is keen to hear your feedback so visit our City Plan website to have your say.