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What would you like to see from this election?

With the 2017 State election set down for November 25, we are already half way through the campaign.

So what does that mean for the local area.

Queensland is divided into 93 state electoral districts. In a state government election you are voting for a representative who will make decisions and choices about issues that affect all Queensland residents. Some would argue that the State governments are the most important in delivering the day to day services that we all need and enjoy. Some of the responsibilities of state government representatives include:

  • health, ambulance and hospital services
  • employment and education services
  • transport, planning and infrastructure
  • tourism, events and the arts
  • rural and regional development
  • family and community support and development services.

There are 3 electorates in our region Aspley, Everton  and Stafford

Tracey Davis is the sitting member for the LNP in Aspley, Tim Mander is the LNP member for Everton and Dr Anthony Lynham the Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural resources and Mines is the sitting member for the ALP in Stafford.Everton Park election

We have seen some promises being made with $10M being made available for the refurbishment and upgrade of the 30 year old Everton Park High School.  This is a welcome injection into a school at only a few years ago was set to be closed.

Whilst last week both major parties announced that $26m would be made available to ease congestion at the South Pine and Stafford Rd intersection.  The plan is to build a new link road from Stafford Rd to South Pine Rd just to the east of the old Masters building.  The land is already available so it just needs to be done.

For anyone that travels through this intersection you know only too well how slow it can be, so Village Buzz is pleased that finally something might be done here.

During an election campaign it seems that the politicians or want to be politicians start to listen to what the people are saying, so lets record all of your good ideas and see if we can get some common sense to prevail.

 

Tell us what you would like to see happen in our local areas.

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MANDER WELCOMES UPGRADES AT SOUTH PINE & PULLEN ROADS INTERSECTION

Tim Mander, State Member for Everton would like to advise that safety improvement works will soon commence at the intersection of South Pine Road and Pullen Road, Everton Park.

Mr Mander said, “These works are being undertaken to improve road safety for all road users by decreasing the risk of collision at the intersection”.

“The works will commence early next month and be completed by May 2018,” he said.

Work will include:

  • increasing the storage length of the right turn lane from South Pine Road into Pullen Road
  • upgrading the pedestrian island on Pullen Road
  • upgrading the pram ramps, and marking the pedestrian crossing
  • correctly aligning the centre median on the southern side of the intersection
  • replacing the storm-water grate near the left turn lane on Pullen Road with a cycle-friendly grate

The Department has advised that although every effort will be made to reduce impacts, residents may experience minor construction noise.

To minimise traffic disruptions, the work will be carried out at between 7 pm and 5 am, Sunday to Thursday. Reduced speed limits will apply during these times.

“I appreciate the frustration for residents as this roadwork is done but these repairs are necessary for the ongoing safety of motorists,” Mr Mander said.

Mr Mander reminds motorists to drive safely and be mindful of road workers and traffic control while the work is in progress.

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Brisbane’s most in-demand commuter suburbs

How much would you pay for a house within 20kms of the city?  Brisbane’s most in-demand commuter suburbs range in median price from $730,000 – $2,105,000, new data reveals.

Gordon Park is our region’s most in-demand commuter suburb with 1,761 visits per property on realestate.com.au/buy for the six months to 31 May 2017. Located just 5 km from Brisbane’s CBD and with great schools nearby, it’s easy to see why buyers favour this northern suburb. That demand has resulted in a median house price of $797,000.

Nearby Alderley is the second most in-demand commuter suburb in our region with 1,358 visits per property on realestate.com.au/buy. The inner northern suburb offers buyers a great lifestyle with a comparatively affordable median house price of $720,000.

At number three on the list is Stafford Heights which is only 8kms from the CBD and it received 1,286 visits per property on realestate.com.au/buy over the same period.

The visits per property come from REA internal data and the median price data is from CoreLogic for the 12 months to 31 May 2017.

Commuter suburbs are defined as areas located between 10-25km of a CBD.

The top ten most in-demand commuter suburbs are all big on lifestyle, according to REA Group Economist Nerida Consibee.

Village Buzz in demand suburbs

” … these are high demand areas and there are far more people looking than listing – that’s a consideration. They are more expensive for that reason. It shows the suburbs where people want to live and all that demand is really pushing up prices,” she says.

Low-interest rates also affect demand and prices in these areas as buyers opt to purchase at the top end of the budgets.

“With debt being so cheap, people are prepared to take on bigger loans. That’s what the Reserve Bank is worried about, people wanting to get the best home that they can afford and at the moment they can borrow quite a lot to get that,” she says.

Most of the suburbs that made the list are near the bus or rail lines, meaning that transport is driving demand to commuter ‘burbs.

“Schooling is also a factor,” Consibee says with many of the areas in the top ten located in or near to the catchment zones for high-performing high schools.

Development opportunities in these areas are something investors and savvy buyers may also want to consider as many of these suburbs have larger blocks and could be subdivided if the local council allows it.

“Certainly there are townhouses, but not a lot of apartments so this suggests that this is something that could be considered because they are very popular and they are quite expensive areas,” she says.

Source: Realestate.com.au

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McDowall one of Brisbane’s public transport blackspots

McDowall one of Brisbane’s public transport blackspots

Public transport experts say Brisbane has several know public transport blackspots, but the buyers in those suburbs often don’t care.

Lobby group Rail Back on Track’s Robert Dow said the city’s public transport system was intentionally weaker in places perceived to be wealthier, because it was expected more residents owned cars.

“I think they said: These people are rich, they’ve got cars, why should we be giving them public transport,” he said.

McDowall one of Brisbane’s public transport blackspots

Mr Dow is lobbying local and state governments for improved bus services. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said Mr Dow wasn’t far off the mark.

“You could make the distinction that the higher the wealth the lower the reliance on public transport,” he said. “Mount Ommaney is a prime example of that.”

“It’s not the necessarily the case the public transport facilities have a price premium associated with them.”

McDowall one of Brisbane’s public transport blackspots

Mr Dow says Brisbane’s bus network lacks coverage and frequency in many suburbs. Photo: Jorge Branco

Mr Dow identified seven suburbs with the worst access to public transport in the inner to middle ring of Brisbane. He said poor access to trains, low frequency and poorly structured bus networks were a common theme across all seven.

Having a train station in the suburb also didn’t mean it was well connected either. Mr Dow said a strong bus network and more parking at train stations was needed to improve the train network’s viability.

“Train frequency is pretty poor outside of the inner core,” he said. “It needs improved frequency and better feeder buses to key rail and bus stations.”

McDowall one of Brisbane’s public transport blackspots

Mr Lord said CityCat services were popular with buyers in Bulimba. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

Mr Dow said the worst suburbs were Bulimba, Yeronga, Albany Creek, McDowall, Middle Park, Mount Ommaney, and Riverhills, in no particular order.

Based on a commute into the Brisbane city for work beginning at 8.30am, a trip from Yeronga was the shortest, taking commuters 38 minute to travel the almost six kilometres into town.

Next was Mount Ommaney at 45 minutes to travel almost 13 kilometres. Bulimba, the closest of the suburbs listed to the city, had a travel time of 47 minutes.

In Bulimba a lot of buyers were interested in the area because of its access to ferries. “Everyone says to me, ‘am I in walking distance to the ferries’.”

CityCats are the least encumbered form of transport in the city. There’s more chance of getting to work on time because there’s less traffic on the water.

But to get to the City before 8.30am on a Friday, Translink’s Journey Planner only advised taking the ferry to Teneriffe and then catching a bus for the rest of the trip.

Mr Dow also said ferries weren’t a reliable method of public transport. “It really can’t do mass transit, in terms of getting out of Bulimba and into Brisbane.”

Albany Creek and McDowall were the worst, taking an hour and six minutes each to get into the city, from about 15 and 10 kilometres away respectively.

Madeleine Hicks from Madeleine Hicks Real Estate at Everton Park agreed public transport coverage in this area wasn’t great but said it generally didn’t bother her buyers, though it is a question asked more frequently now.

“It’s generally a hassle to get buses in McDowall,” she said. “The travel time into the city just keeps increasing with the higher volumes of cars on the road.  It is a issue that needs to be addressed as the problem will only get worse in the future.”

Mr Dow advocated for a stronger network, to future-proof currently affluent suburbs from potential demographic changes. “All of a sudden you’ll find there will be five or six adults living in these places, same as New Farm and West End,” he said. “We think every demographic group needs public transport.”

From Domain.com.au

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Whatever happened to … Brisbane’s western bypass?

Traffic issues in everton park Village Buzz

Almost 10 years ago, former transport and main roads minister Paul Lucas announced a great new plan to investigate a western bypass for Brisbane.

It was a big deal in 2007 and 2008.

Big ideas, big plans, big budgets, big dreams.

Two routes were quickly ruled out; one near Lake Wivenhoe and another just west of Mt Coot-tha.

But a third idea – running basically north-south from Toowong up through Everton Park and up to Aspley – was considered viable in the long term, say 2026.

It became part of a network of 18 different projects unveiled in 2008.

It became project 13 in a long-term plan called the Western Brisbane Transport Network Investigation Strategy and it can still be found by looking here.

So, almost 10 years later, what is happening on this front?

Is any planning under way to get this in place by 2026?

No.

Fairfax Media is commencing a series of reports about transport issues that have fallen off the agenda.

 Photo: Paul Rovere

In fact, plans to widen one key intersection in one project – the South Pine Road and Stafford Road intersection – were quietly shelved in 2012 because at $100 million it cost too much.

Since then traffic has increased by an extra 3463 vehicles a day (9.95 per cent) from the south and by an extra 787 vehicles (2.15 per cent) each day.

Why have these transport issues slipped off the planning agenda.

We will begin to put these projects back on the agenda, so you can decide if the answers to why no work is underway is appropriate.

Whatever happened to …

1: Upgrading the South Pine Road and Stafford Road intersection at Everton Park.

The RACQ points out both Brisbane City Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads' reports show the traffic is now slower through the intersection than ever before, under 25 kilometres an hour in both the morning and evening peak.

More than four years ago, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (August 2012) came up with a new plan to widen the intersection.

But the 2012 plan was rejected because it cost too much at $100 million.

How many vehicles now use the intersection in 2017?

Overall traffic has increased by 3463 vehicles a day from 2012 to 2015 from the south heading north.

In 2012, there were 36,931 vehicles - in both directions - just to the north of the intersection.

By 2015 that had grown to 37,385 by 2015.

In 2012, there were 34,794 vehicles in both directions – just to the south of the intersection.

By 2015 that had grown by 3463 vehicles a day, or 9.05 per cent.

What does the RACQ and local business say?

The RACQ says since then growth on Airport Link and Wardell Street mean this project is needed now.

"Its time to press the go button on this project," Michael Roth, the RACQ's executive director public policy, said.

"This has been a problem intersection for a long time and it won't get any better until they invest in it," Michael Roth, RACQ's head of public policy said.

Mind you, the RACQ has since 2008 supported very major changes through this part of western Brisbane including a tunnel.

Everton Hills Chamber of Commerce president Ron Crump agreed that the traffic was "a disaster" and now getting worse.

Mr Crump said roadworks to the north in the Moreton Bay region were forcing traffic to turn southwards towards the intersection along Old Northern Road.

Mr Roth said the RACQ agreed with the ideas put forward in the 2012 model put forward by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

"We still think that is a good plan," he said.

"We thought it all made sense but nothing appears to have happened since."

Why isn't anything happening on this north-western intersection?

"At this stage there is no funding for the upgrade," the Department of Transport and Main Roads said.

"Funding for this upgrade will compete with other state-wide priorities and is reviewed annually.

"The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) will continue to monitor traffic conditions in the area."

What about the western bypass idea?

It's still just a concept.

In 2007 there was a Western Brisbane Transport Network Investigation (WBTNI), which developed a 2008 strategy called the Western Brisbane Transport Network Strategy (WBTNS).

It created an overall vision for different modes of transport, roads, rail, cycling.

The western bypass was part of that strategy.

But it seems nothing is happening now in 2017.

"The WBTNS is still important to Transport and Main Roads. Some initiatives put forward in the strategy have been implemented while other initiatives remain in concept," the department said.

It would take seven to eight years - at least - to plan, design, budget, win funding, then call tenders for a project before starting work.

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Why you won’t need a ticket to park at Westfield Chermside

Village Buzz Ticketless parking at westfield chermside

With the new renovations to the Westfield at Chermside progressing quickly and nearing completion, a further great idea will soon be unveiled.  Ticketless Parking will be adopted.

Westfield’s across Australia are introducing a new paid parking system that doesn’t rely on paper card tickets and is adopting a more toll like system. The new system allows a customer to park without the paper ticket, avoiding long queues and hassle of checking the time you entered the shopping centre. The advanced parking system is here based on licence plate recognition technology.

If you stay over 3 hours and register for Ticketless Parking the boom gate will automatically open upon exit, any parking fees will be automatically deducted from your credit or debit card. If you are not registered for Ticketless Parking and you stay over 3 hours you can pay at any of the Pay Stations near the Centre entrances.

Registration is at parkwestfield.com.au to set up the account link with your credit card. This process removes the need to visit a pay station and allows the same use across Westfield ticketless parking.

 

What will you notice
– The entrance is open and boom gate is removed,
– New devices are being installed
– A digital clock displaying your time of entry.

Overview for Shoppers
– Shoppers still park for free for the first 3 hours
– Free parking for disabled parkers who register for the Ticketless Scheme
– Spend $200 in a single day, you can obtain free parking from the Concierge
– Free Parking if you enter in after 5.30pm and leave before 9am
– Pay stations allow monitoring of vehicle entrance times

Reports are that the cost of parking for over 3  hours will rise significantly though, so will will wait to see.

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What can be done about our slow traffic?

What can be done about our slow traffic

Well we always knew that during peak hours the roads in the Stafford/Everton Park regions can get pretty slow.

Now the RACQ has released a list of “Brisbane’s Slowest Roads” and it is no surprise to find some of our local roads on these lists. Read more