If you want to do something about Brisbane’s traffic, make yourself heard

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Got a problem in your suburb that needs fixing? email me at lordmayor@bmag.com.au

For the last decade Brisbane City Council has been batting well above its average when it comes to tackling traffic congestion. We’ve built ground-breaking infrastructure such as Legacy Way, the Go Between Bridge and the Clem7 while still managing to deliver record investment in traditional areas like road resurfacing, local road upgrades, better public transport and cycle links to support them. In fact, you only have to look at the $1.4billion we’re spending tackling traffic congestion this year – roughly half the entire council budget – to see how serious we are about dealing with this issue.

You could essentially say that we’re ‘the little engine that could’ of Australian governments. And we’re not alone. South East Queensland’s ratepayers are now starting to pick up more and more of the slack because of underspending from other levels of government. And with warnings about the dire position of state and federal finances and the need to rein in spending, it’s difficult to see that changing any time soon. However, there is only so much of this burden local governments can shoulder. We’ve all been doing our best to try and bridge the infrastructure funding gap through innovative measures and in Brisbane, for example, my team’s investment has certainly begun to pay off with travel times and congestion levels on our major roads beginning to ease for the first time in a long time. But, at the same time, we can’t take our foot off the pedal or we’ll just end up right back where we started.

That’s why I’ve joined with 10 other mayors from South East Queensland to launch the Give a Beep campaign in the lead up to this year’s federal election. As a group, the South East Queensland Council of Mayors represents one in seven Australians and our residents and businesses are responsible for helping to generate one fifth of the nation’s economic growth. Yet vital infrastructure projects such as a second Toowoomba Range crossing and upgrades to the Pacific, Bruce and Cunningham Highways continue to be overlooked or underfunded. It’s time South East Queensland got a bigger slice of the infrastructure cake and our Give a Beep campaign is about ensuring the federal government lives up to its obligation when it comes to funding the major projects that will make South East Queensland a better place to live, work and play.

At home here in Brisbane, council remains committed to delivering the much needed upgrade of Kingsford Smith Drive and this project also has the support of the Council of Mayors. But we also need your help. Every vote will count and we need to work together to pressure everyone from your local federal candidate to their party leaders to ensure they also give a beep about South East Queensland’s transport network. To get involved all you need to do is visit www.giveabeep.com.au and join more than 1000 people who have already registered their support for the campaign. You can also follow the cause on Twitter at #giveabeep, and keep an eye out for our travelling billboards which will be visiting cities and towns throughout the south east.

Traffic congestion doesn’t just stop after crossing the city limits and it affects everything, from the productivity of our economy through to our personal lives as we sit stuck in traffic snarls instead of spending time with family and friends. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tradie, truckie, professional or P-Plater, if you give a beep about cutting traffic congestion in Brisbane, then make it heard. I give a beep, do you?