Norman St Bridge on the agenda in Canberra

THE Norman St Bridge has been put on the official agenda in Canberra by the South East Queensland Council of mayors for the first time.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and other mayors from the region met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Blair MP Shayne Neumann and other big hitters from both sides of politics in Canberra last week where projects in eight categories were put forward.

Key infrastructure projects were listed in a brochure in category four with the $250 million Norman St Bridge one of them.

The document stated how the bridge would provide a vital second crossing of the Bremer River for the Ipswich CBD and improve access and productivity by removing non-essential through traffic, while ensuring access during emergencies and disasters.

"The most important thing for us was to go down to Canberra and show what our priorities for south-east Queensland are," Cr Pisasale said.

"The Norman St Bridge is at the top of my list and I spoke about how it is a regional project.

"We are growing, but without that regional infrastructure we won't be able to cope."

Council has produced a 'video fly-through' to show the various tiers of government to outline what the project entails.

Other key Ipswich projects include the $558 million stage one of the Darra to Rocklea upgrade of the Ipswich Mwy, the $45 million Brisbane Valley Hwy upgrade from Blacksoil to the Brisbane River and $180 million Darra to Springfield rail extension to Redbank Plains.

KEY INFRASTRUCTURE: An artist’s impression of the proposed Norman St Bridge.
KEY INFRASTRUCTURE: An artist’s impression of the proposed Norman St Bridge. Contributed

"They are all important projects - we are the most powerful lobby group in Australia," Cr Pisasale said.

"We represent one in seven Australians and 20% of the economic growth in Australia comes from south-east Queensland.

"The Federal Government are like the bank, the priorities must come from the state government.

"We need to get our state members fighting for our projects.

"Shayne Neumann was able to provide some amazing figures on our ageing and indigenous population, which helps us with our planning.

"But you can't just go to Canberra and get your project up. It has to put it on the horizon, then it goes through the planning stage… and then it surfaces.

"By understand how the system works, you can help push your projects. But you have to get the right planning done. I will be working now with the State Government on the Norman St Bridge."

Cr Pisasale said assistant minister for infrastructure Jamie Briggs said Queensland had been "the worst state government when it comes to getting things ready for planning and tendering".

"I'll be taking those comments to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk because she has inherited that," Cr Pisasale said.

Topics:  council of mayors seq mayor paul pisasale norman st bridge shayne neumann

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