Election result may be bad news for proposed Norman St bridge
FEDERAL Labor MP Shayne Neumann has doubts a Tony Abbott-led Coalition will fund the Norman St bridge project as the Ipswich City Council prepare to lobby ministers for their support.
Mr Neumann retained his seat of Blair at the Federal Election and believes securing federal funding for the Labor stronghold could now be an uphill task.
The proposed $320 million four-lane bridge would connect Downs St via Lawrence St at its western end and Chermside Rd via Norman St at its eastern end.
The bridge would alleviate traffic problems for the growing Ipswich CBD.
Mr Neumann said the Coalition has an "ambiguous and ambivalent" approach to infrastructure in Ipswich, citing its previous opposition to the Ipswich Motorway upgrade in 2007.
"It doesn't augur well for the Norman St Bridge and as soon as I can I will be talking to Warren Truss, the new infrastructure minister, to ask for his support," he said.
"I hope they don't play politics in relation to this project."
But Mayor Paul Pisasale hopes political representation will be put to one side and infrastructure needs of Ipswich will be met.
Council's community consultation ended last month and Cr Pisasale said a business case was being prepared for the project.
"The future of our city does not revolve around politics," he said.
"The last federal election the members were elected because of their hard work for the city."
Ipswich's state LNP MP, Ian Berry, said the Newman Government was committed to making infrastructure investment decisions on merit, supported by solid business cases, rather than political considerations.
"I look forward to being fully briefed by council on the outcome of the community consultation process before proceeding further," he said.
"Council's proposal is still in the infancy stage.
"I look forward to receiving further information from council as to the process they wish to undertake in preparing a business case that can then be submitted to government for consideration."
Ipswich West MP Mr Choat also hoped political rivalry would not hinder the chances of the project going ahead. "I would be very upset about that and I don't think it would happen," he said. "I would be very surprised if they take that view. My support is going nowhere and I would hope the Federal Coalition would govern for everyone."
City infrastructure committee chairperson councillor Cheryl Bromage said given the scale and significance of the project, an investment partnership between all three levels of government would be required to see it come to fruition.
"We will be outlining the public feedback received and seeking their support to progress to the business case phase of the project," she said.
Plans for the project were first revealed by council in July and would be undertaken in two stages.
Cr Bromage said the majority of feedback received was very supportive of the project.
"The feasibility of a number of matters raised by the public will be further investigated with the findings reported back to council for its consideration."
She said the preferred route and configuration of the Norman St Bridge and Jacaranda St extension would now be included in the Ipswich Planning Scheme.