Choat and Neumann embroiled in battle of Blacksoil

THE Blacksoil Interchange project has stalled but the argy bargy between local MPs Sean Choat and Shayne Neumann over the delay has gone into overdrive.

The project has been delayed on three occasions and was set to start in early January.

LNP MP for Ipswich West Mr Choat said the delay related to the need for the two tenderers, Bielby Holdings and Fulton Hogan, to submit traffic management plans and redo their design to provide a second entry and exit point for Blacksoil residents and make necessary changes to Bayley Rd.

But Mr Neumann, Federal Member for Blair, said "the biggest roadblock to the Blacksoil Interchange is Mr Choat" and changes to the second access point were no excuse not to start the project.

"For Mr Choat to be delaying this project is like him saying because he is not happy with the location of the dishwasher in the kitchen that he won't lay the slab or build the structure of a house," Mr Neumann said.

"That is the folly and silliness of Mr Choat's argument about the delay of the Blacksoil Interchange.

"His latest newsletter says, and I quote, 'work on the Blacksoil Interchange is under way and is expected to be completed by April of 2014'.

"But anyone that goes out there can see it is not happening. It needs to be started."

But anyone that goes out there can see it is not happening. It needs to be started.

But Mr Choat, whose office is in the same building as Mr Neumann's at Brassall, accused Mr Neumann of not being interested in his constituents.

"Not once since we've been talking about solving the problems for local residents has Mr Neumann picked up the phone or walked down the corridor to offer any help," Mr Choat said.

"He is not interested in finding solutions for those people. He just wants to be a naysayer and a negative influence.

He is not interested in finding solutions for those people. He just wants to be a naysayer and a negative influence.

"The delay is pushing my patience too, but I want to make sure local people get the best solution.

"They are the ones who got shafted by the initial plan."

Mr Neumann responded by stating that "we (the Federal Government) are the ones that delivered $54 million into the (state) accounts last June and they have done nothing about it.

"I have been to all of the community consultation meetings held on this process and Mr Choat wasn't at any one of them."

Mr Choat said he was in constant contact with his constituents on the matter and the changes being made were not trivial.

"The previous tender process did not require the proponents to outline their traffic management strategy," he said.

"Now as part of the contract, they have to build the design to standard and accommodate the traffic flows during construction.

"I will make sure that every resident in the area that is affected will get a copy of the new design, a letter from me about when it is going to start and an understanding of what the traffic management plan is going to be."

Topics:  blacksoil interchange fulton hogan sean choat shayne neumann

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