Colleges Crossing.
Colleges Crossing. Claudia Baxter

LNP: Theres no cash for bridges

THE new LNP State Government has no plans for new bridges from the Wivenhoe Dam and Jindalee despite recommendations from the flood inquiry.

Following the January 2011 deluge, the flood commission of inquiry recommended better bridges to handle future floods.

The second part of the inquiry found Wivenhoe Dam's engineers were so focussed on not flooding bridges they allowed the dam to fill to a perilous level.

When they finally released water from the dam, the bridge at Colleges Crossing was inundated, cutting residents off for days.

In February, an announcement by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority that it would spend $11million to restore Colleges Crossing was postponed after Seqwater decided to release more water following some heavy rain.

The outdated Moggill Ferry was almost swept away during the floods, further highlighting the need to replace it with a bridge.

But new Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said bridges were not a priority for his government and new bridges at Colleges Crossing and instead of the Moggill Ferry were too expensive.

Mr Emerson, who was born and bred in Ipswich, said the government's priority was meeting its election commitments.

"I am aware of the issue, my parents live out (there) and I am an Ipswich boy so I do know the area fairly well," Mr Emerson said. "It was terrible devastation out there near Colleges Crossing.

"But those things aren't cheap; it's a question of money."

He said a bridge replacing the Moggill Ferry wasn't viable, even though it broke down occasionally.

"I haven't had a figure but it's not a priority in terms of election commitments," he said.

"The Premier has made it very clear; we have our election promises and our commitments. We have got to meet those first."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale agreed a new Colleges Crossing bridge would be too expensive but said other options should be considered.

"It would need to be like the Gateway Bridge but we could look at a temporary means of raising it," he said. "Something has to be done about the Moggill Ferry too. It could be replaced with a bridge."

But he said an integrated transport plan should be investigated and pointed to the preserved transport corridor that starts at the Warrego Hwy at Tivoli, crosses the Brisbane River between Karalee and Bellbowrie and links with the Centenary Hwy at Fig Tree Pocket.

"I'd like to sit down with the minister and do a masterplan for that area," the Mayor said.

"We also need to talk to the managers of the Wivenhoe Dam who have to take responsibility for Colleges Crossing and some of the other areas that flood when water is released. We have to do something about the isolation residents experience every time there is a flood."



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