It has been 100 years in the making but passengers will finally be able to catch a train from the Redcliffe Peninsula to the heart of Brisbane within six months.
A photograph taken on December 3, 2010, shows where this final successful attempt started five years ago.
It shows then-prime minister Julia Gillard signing an agreement with Moreton Bay Regional Council mayor Allan Sutherland and then-premier Anna Bligh.
The federal government agreed to contribute $742 million, the Queensland Government $300 million and Moreton Bay Regional Council $105 million to the project.
That day the trio promised new stations at Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill, Kinsellas Road and Kippa-Ring to finally bring 600 trains a week to Redcliffe.
That night, Ms Gillard attended a community cabinet meeting in Petrie and Labor’s then-MP for Petrie Yvette D’Ath had been able to announce the deal with the three levels of government, meaning the rail line would go ahead.
And now, just over five years later, all governments have abided by the 2010 promises.
Acting Premier Jackie Trad on Wednesday morning formally “switched on” 25,000 volts of electrical current to allow the all-important commissioning and testing phase to begin.
“A project like this, that will see 600 new trains go from the Redcliffe Peninsula to the city CBD every week, is a fantastic initiative for workers in this area,” Ms Trad said.
New Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said trains with passengers should be running by midyear and definitely by the Ekka in August.
“Certainly it is still our intention to have the stations open and the trains operating and people enjoying the benefits of the Moreton Bay Rail Link by the middle of 2016,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“At this stage I’m pretty confident that then we will have them coming back to Kippa-Ring train station with their showbags in hand.”
The six stations are either complete or almost complete, and for the past six months the local communities have been helping design car parks linked to the stations.
More than 350 koalas have been shifted as bushland was cleared and were being reintroduced to the remaining bushland in the nearby areas.
Four trains will be tested daily on the tracks as the electrification commissioning progresses.
But Wednesday’s announcement that 25,000 volts of electricity was running through the overhead electrical wires came with a safety warning from Moreton Region’s mayor Allan Sutherland.
“Mums and dads, keep your kids away from the stations,” Cr Sutherland said.
“They are live from today. This is a real working station. The only thing missing is the people,” he said.
“And that is going to follow very shortly.
“So mums and dads, if you hear your kids say, ‘We’re going to go down and play at the station’, the answer is ‘No, this is a live station.’ ”
The Moreton Bay Rail Link from Petrie to Kippa-Ring includes:
- 14km of double track rail from Lawnton to Kippa-Ring
- a rail connection to the Caboolture line
- 22 bridge structures to provide grade separation of road and rail, including over the Bruce Highway
- Six new rail stations including bus interchanges and bike storage
- 2850 car parks
- Stabling – including train crew facilities – for 10 six-car trains in the vicinity of Kippa-Ring Station
- 3m wide concrete shared path for cyclists and pedestrians along the entire length of the corridor.
The Moreton Bay region is one of the fastest-growing in Australia with the population of 375,000 tipped to reach 500,000 by 2031.
Over 80 per cent of people in the region (83 per cent) use a private car drive to work each day.
Originally Published On: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/
‘Bottleneck’ roundabout near new university site to get $30 million upgrade
The Petrie roundabout connecting Gympie Road, Dayboro Road and Anzac Avenue.
Photo: Google Maps
A “bottleneck” roundabout in the Moreton Bay region that has left motorists “fed up for many, many years” will be given a $30 million upgrade having been allocated funding in the upcoming state budget.
Fairfax Media can reveal the state government will announce on Monday the Petrie roundabout will be replaced by a reconfigured T-intersection featuring traffic lights, with work set to begin in 2020.
However, the Opposition Leader said the roundabout upgrades needed to be finished by 2020 because the new University of Sunshine Coast campus will open at the start of that year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said an extra $22.5 million will be set aside in the state budget, set to be delivered on June 12, in addition to $7.5 million already committed.
Mr Bailey said the installation of traffic lights would improve traffic movements at the intersection and address local population growth.
“We are fixing the bottleneck at the Petrie roundabout where Anzac Avenue, Dayboro Road and Gympie Road meet,” Mr Bailey said.
“A preferred option was developed in 2016, which included replacing the roundabout with signals at a reconfigured T-intersection.”
However, LNP leader Deb Frecklington said the Palaszczuk government had missed the boat.
“The Palaszczuk government is trying to con the people of Pine Rivers by announcing projects they have no intention of building for years.
“This key road needs to be upgraded in time for the new university campus opening in 2020, but that won’t happen under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“It’s not good enough that Pine Rivers locals have to wait another two years for work to even begin … Labor’s had almost three years to plan for this upgrade and they’ve done nothing.
“If Labor is serious about busting congestion and planning for the future, this upgrade needs to be fast-tracked in the upcoming budget.”
Member for Kurwongbah Shane King said locals would be able to have their say on the project.
“The community will have an opportunity to provide input during the detailed design phase, which is expected to be completed in 2019,” Mr King said.
“Importantly, this project will improve safety and connectivity in Petrie and reduce delays during peak periods. It will also reduce traffic queues and crash risk.”
RACQ transport, traffic and safety engineer Greg Miszkowycz welcomed the announcement and said drivers had nominated the Petrie roundabout on previous red-spot surveys, which were designed to identify stretches of road which needed to be prioritised for improvement work.
“This location has a history of congestion,” he said.
“Motorists have been fed up of the roundabout for many, many years.
“T-intersections are usually much safer for pedestrians and cyclists compared to roundabouts.
“This will hopefully go a long way to reducing the congestion and frustration for motorists.
“The new university campus will attract a greater number of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists so these upgrades should ensure all road users can safely and efficiently access these new facilities.”
Mr King said the upgrade would ultimately benefit the thousands of students expected to attend the new University of the Sunshine Coast campus.
“The former Petrie paper mill site and surrounding suburbs have been declared a priority development area by the Palaszczuk government,” he said.
“(This) is expected to deliver up to 10,000 university student placements, 6000 ongoing jobs and $950 million in economic benefit.”
Mr Bailey said further investigations into land requirements and consultation with key stakeholders, Moreton Bay Regional Council as well as directly affected residents and businesses would continue.
Four new police constables have started in the Moreton Police District
Kay Alexander grew up idolising her grandma, a police officer during WWII, and now she will be a role model for aspiring cops.
The 46-year-old is the oldest of the four first-year constables who started in the Moreton Police District three weeks ago. They graduated from the academy on Thursday, January 18 with 34 other officers.
Loretta Lester is stationed at Redcliffe station, Pedau Grabbe at Deception Bay and Deb Hill and Ms Alexander at Caboolture.
From the fitness industry to finance, each officer has a varied background.
“I don’t think you fall into it — you make a conscious decision,” Ms Alexander said.
“It was in the back of my mind for quite some time, but being female and having a family as well, I just kept putting it off.
“I always looked up to them and thought they were superheroes.
“Eventually I just went, ‘I’m going to do it’.”
All four have been thrown into the deep end in their first three weeks on duty, with Ms Hill being called out to a code 1 job the first time she got behind the wheel of her patrol car.
Ms Lester, 29, said the thrill of not knowing what to expect was a big lure for becoming an officer.
“The first domestic violence job I went to, I remember the feeling of, ‘wow, I’ve got no idea of what to do’,” she said.
“I was 100 per cent relying on my field training officer — (but) it’s experiences like that, you look back at and you’re learning all the time.
“(On jobs) you’re communicating the whole time about what you might find and how to deal with it.
“So when you get there you’ve got a plan.”
Each officer will spend eight weeks with their field training officer at their stations before graduating.
Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au
How train lines are driving property prices
A train on the new Redcliffe Peninsula line. Source: Supplied
HOW access to train lines are driving property profits.
Redcliffe residents waited more than 130 years for a train line, and now that it’s here it is raising interest in the peninsula and its property market.
The Redcliffe Peninsula was cut off from the rest of the southeast’s rail network, until the long mooted train line finally opened in late-2016.
Locals can now hop on a train from any of Redcliffe’s six train stations, and that has become a juicy selling point for the area’s real estate agents.
General manager at LJ Hooker Redcliffe, Kylie Loof, said the new train line was often a topic of discussion from a certain type of buyer.
“The people that are talking about it are from other states,” Ms Loof said. “They ask ‘is it close to the new train line?’.”
The interstate interest makes a curious disparity, Ms Loof said, as many locals still kept old travelling habits from before the line opened.
She said many locals still drove across the bridge to get to Shorncliffe Station to catch the train, a tactic she said could save a bit of time on a commute to Brisbane.
She estimated that before the line opened, only about 30 per cent of investors in the area would be from interstate.
“Now it is about 50/50,” she said.
In peak times, the train from Redcliffe can take the best part of an hour to reach Brisbane’s CBD, which might sound a lot for the average Queensland
But for one Sydney-based investor, the announcement of the train line helped him invest his hard earned cash in what he predicts will be a strong growth area.
Take Ekanayake, 29, has purchased three investment properties in the past two years, looking at long-term growth.
“Being from Sydney, whenever a major infrastructure with trains gets announced there is a massive growth in the area in terms of real estate,” Mr Ekanayake said.
He predicted that there would be a time when more and more Redcliffe residents would use the train, and this would be a positive for property owners.
He pointed to other changes in the area, including the new University of the Sunshine Coast campus which will open in Petrie in 2020.
“Once you’ve got 10 to 20,000 more students in the area, the value of that train line is going to be more significant,” he said.
So far growth has been modest across the Redcliffe area since the track was announced back in 2010.
In the suburb of Kippa-Ring, which has the benefit of being close to the bay and the train line, the change in the median price for a house over the past five years was 19.9 per cent.
Nearby Mango Hill had slightly stronger growth over the five years at 22.6 per cent, but it was still modest compared to booms in Sydney and Melbourne.
With interstate migration to Queensland very strong, especially in the state’s southeast, Mr Ekanayake predicted the area was due for a boost.
“There has been so much media attention on the Sydney and Melbourne markets, but once Sydney starts to cool off, which it is, it is Brisbane that takes off,” he said.
“Brisbane is almost half the price (of Sydney) so right now there is a huge gap, and that gap has got to close.”
Harcourts Redcliffe owner Steve Hawley said you could see the changes in the Redcliffe area just by looking at the skyline.
“We are seeing a lot of new townhouses and multistorey developments, there are a lot of cranes out and about,” Mr Hawley said.
“We’ve been a sleepy town for that long so it is time to move ahead.”
Originally published: www.news.com.au
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