COMING SHORTLY - CAST Statement on the 3 Billion Tunnel

We have opposed the concept and construction of the 3B
Tunnel from the time it was first proposed by Jim Soorley.

We're preparing a detailed statement to explain why we
continue to vigorously oppose the Tunnel, and why we urge
all motorists to boycott the Tunnel.

Keep checking this site for our full statement.

INFORMATION ALERT CIty Bus Stops relocated from Monday 8 March

Bus stops 56 and 57 on Queen Street near Post Office
Square will be temporarily closed from Monday 8
March to Wednesday 30 June due to streetscape
construction works.
Stop 58 will be moved by up to 20m in the direction
of travel and services from this stop will also be affected.

For full details of bus services affected and a map of
the location of the new stops, go to


We are continuing to make submissions on behalf of public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians to Translink, service providers and Government.

These are shown on the page below described as 'Submissions to Translink' together with current status and replies if any.

If you are aware of a transport service or systemic fault that needs to be rectified or improved, contact us and we'll follow up the issue with the relevant authority on your behalf.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Opinion piece

Housing, transport and planning in southeast Queensland

At the end of May Deputy Premier Anna Bligh launched the updated Infrastructure Plan for Southeast Queensland (1).

This “$20 billion” plan provides clues as to the housing and transport challenges that lie ahead for the region.

It was announced that Brisbane, Logan, Redcliffe, Redlands, Pine Rivers and Caboolture will accommodate a large proportion of growth, and that in Pine Rivers and Caboolture most of it will be on undeveloped “Greenfield” sites.

The western corridor around Ipswich will also accommodate growth in Greenfield developments.

These developments on the urban fringe can be problematic.

The 2005 Regional Plan adopted a “balanced” approach to housing – acknowledging the post war trend for suburban fringe housing, but emphasising that more housing needed to be close to public transport and activity centres in existing urban areas.

Greenfield development requires large tax payer subsidies for new power, water and transport infrastructure.

And as well as leading to loss of biodiversity and traffic congestion, housing on the fringe is not as cheap as the development industry would have us believe.

It may offer short term savings on house and land, but these are offset by higher ongoing costs.

The far flung location coupled with lack of public transport options means households often need more than one car and petrol bills strain budgets.

Griffith University researchers found that fringe dwellers are the most vulnerable to rising oil prices which will make it harder to meet mortgage repayments (2).

In addition to this, poor housing design leads to higher energy bills.

We must learn from the mistake of allowing the huge North Lakes development to proceed without linking it to the northern rail line.

For the good of the region most future development in Pine Rivers and Caboolture Shires should be in underutilised land surrounding train stations such as Strathpine, Petrie, Narangba and Burpengary.

Development west of Brisbane should occur around new heavy rail infrastructure and include more local employment options.

If it does not we will see a continuing increase in carnage on the Ipswich motorway, regardless of how much money goes into upgrades and bypasses.

To the State’s credit it has already started work on the rail link between Darra and Springfield in the west.

But another concern raised by the revised Infrastructure Plan is government’s overall reluctance to prioritise rail over roads and busways.

Anyone who uses buses and trains knows that trains are more efficient, even if the bus is on a busway.

Murdoch University Professor Jeff Kenworthy emphasises how rail competes better with cars than buses due to smoother rides, higher speeds and greater reliability.

In a study of more than 80 urban regions he discovered there were no regions where the average speed of bus systems exceeds 26km/hr, while rail systems averaged between 34-43km/hr, in comparison to a general road traffic speed of 34km/hr (3).

Current government initiatives such as rail line duplications on the Ferny Grove, Gold Coast and Ipswich lines are steps in the right direction.

But its time for the Infrastructure Plan to be redeveloped – guided by a hard-headed analysis of the relative costs and benefits of investing in rail versus roads and busways.

The rail link between Darra and Springfield must continue on as a four track line through the Ripley Valley linking back into Ipswich.

The transport corridor between Petrie and Kippa-Ring must be developed as rail, possibly servicing North Lakes.

The northern line must extend to coastal centres such as Maroochydore and Mooloolaba, and the southern line to Coolangatta.

In Brisbane, its time to junk the amateurish “TransApex” road projects and analyse the option of tunnelling for heavy rail between major activity generators such as the CBD and UQ St Lucia.

Tunnelling is occurring now to build the new busway from Roma Street to Queen Street.

This is a positive project but the unfortunate reality is that it will be at capacity within two weeks of opening due to the limited capacity of buses.

The billions spent on short lengths of busway could be even better spent on placing a comprehensive network of transit lanes on existing roads across the city, while investing leftover funds into improving the frequency and coverage of services.

Drivers need not fear because they will finally have a safer, cheaper, greener and more convenient alternative to the car.

Congestion will reduce considerably once a quarter of trips are on public transport and this will benefit couriers, tradespeople and others who still have to drive.

Chris Hale is an urban economist, researching land use and transport at the University of Queensland's Centre for Transport Strategy.
Tristan Peach is a part-time tutor and lecturer in urban planning at QUT


(1) Bligh, A. (Tuesday 29 May 2007) $20.2 billion earmarked for infrastructure in greater Brisbane, Queensland Government Media Release.
(2) Dodson and Sipe. (2005) ‘Oil Vulnerability in the Australian City’ in Urban Research Program Research Paper 6.
(3) Kenworthy, Murray-Leach and Townsend (2005) ‘Sustainable urban transport’ in The natural advantage of nations: business opportunities, innovation and governance in the 21st century. Earthscan, London.

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