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North Townsville’s Traffic Nightmare leaves Fresh Faced Minister Red Faced

Mar 26, 2024

The snail-paced progress of the Northern Townsville Road Intersections Project which takes in the length of Woolcock Street and Shaw, North Shore Boulevard, Deeragun and Garland Road intersections is a severe indictment on the State Labor Government’s ability to progress necessary road infrastructure projects for those living in Townsville’s northern suburbs.

Despite previous assurances that the Options Analysis study for this project would be complete by 2023, the timeframe for completion of this crucial planning step has now been pushed back to an unknown date ‘in 2024’.

A ropeable Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader Nick Dametto said that it was clear the newly appointed Transport and Main Roads Minister was not across his portfolio when answering a question in Queensland Parliament last week on this North Townsville Road project.

“I recently put a Question Without Notice to the Transport Minister and I was shocked to learn he had no idea about the project even after I had met with his staff a week earlier on the topic,” Mr Dametto said.

“Even follow up discussions with the Minister gave me no confidence that he was taking the needs of those who travel or commute though this North Townsville section of Woolcock street seriously, maybe if this project was in Thuringowa or Mundingburra it would have his attention.

“Frustrated motorists are not interested in hearing about the Options Analysis being completed sometime towards the end of the year, they want to know when their road is going to be fixed.  We’ve been told for more than a year the Options Analysis would be finished at the end of 2023 and now it’s being pushed back 12 months.

“The timing of these delays couldn’t come at a worse time with traffic from the almost completed Burdell Ambulance Station soon adding a further layer of complexity to an already unacceptable daily traffic jam.

“Burdell and nearby area residents should be getting ready to celebrate the opening of the new Ambulance Station, but instead it’s being overshadowed by the communities’ questions of how on earth are they going to get out of North Shore Boulevard during peak hour.

“How emergency vehicles are expected to navigate the road network in and around Burdell is baffling and I’m appalled that someone in need of urgent medical care might be put at risk simply because one State Government portfolio isn’t being managed properly.

“This situation is unacceptable, and it was entirely avoidable. As far as we’ve been told, the last study done on the potential traffic impacts for the Burdell Ambulance Station was in 2018 which was prior to the Townsville floods, prior to COVID-19 and prior to an extra 10,000 people moving to the area. 

“The State Labor Government’s ball drop on this one is nothing short of incompetence. The Options Analysis should be released immediately so that residents can be consulted and assured that this project is progressing. From that point we are calling on the TMR Minister to commit to funding needed to complete the business case so that the Woolcock Street redevelopment can advance to the detail, design and construction phase.

“The Minister must understand that the Northern Suburbs have outgrown this road, and their patience is wearing thin.”

Photo: Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto.