TOWN MEETING: Premier's answer to traffic bottleneck

LITTERED between questions about the super dump, residents at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's town hall event wanted to know what her government was doing about mental health and infrastructure.

Concerned with vehicle congestion on the region's roads, one questioner wanted to know what was being done to get people out of cars and onto public transport.

"As the population grows we will need more trains," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"We know how important it is to have connectivity with buses and with trains.

"In terms of going up to Toowoomba - what we're doing is making sure the roads get upgraded, the second range crossing is being built so hopefully that'll make things better."

Ms Palaszczuk said an increase in the frequency of public transport was slowly happening across the network.

But the Premier did not mention a timeline for the long-awaited rail extension from Springfield Central.

Mental health

AN ANNOUNCEMENT on Monday that the Ipswich Hospital would undergo a massive expansion was warmly applauded by residents at the town hall meeting.

Several people thanked the State Government for its $124million investment into expanding the hospital, building a new 50-bed mental health facility and an MRI machine.

The new acute mental health facility will be purpose built to cater for adults and seniors.

Health consumers, carers, community and staff will play a lead role in the design of the 50-bed centre.

Ms Palaszczuk promoted the investment but said more should be done to help people with early mental illness.

"Preventative health is very important," she said.

"Part of that process is we have people who are at the high end but also to we need people to be able to be able to go and talk to someone, their GP about issues at the early stage."

Health Minister Steven Miles said the government was investing in fighting mental illness.

"We're acknowledging that the existing one is quite old and we need the new one," he said.

"When people are at the point of needing a facility like that one it's because all of our other interventions have failed and the best place to be dealing with this is in the community."

Ms Palaszczuk answered questions from some people at the town hall who called for the facility to be built sooner.

She said proper processes needed to be in place and followed.

Construction will start in late 2020.



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