Brisbane residents will have to put up with the roadworks on Kingsford Smith Drive for another 18 months, and some suburbs will be slugged with a 6 per cent rate rise, the council budget reveals.
The timeline was included as part of Brisbane City Council’s 2018-19 budget of $3.1 billion with another $200 million left to spend on the project.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says the project is on deadline and will remain within budget. (www.ksdupgrad.com.au)
One third of the money will be spent on infrastructure works, including $708 million to complete the Brisbane Metro by 2022, for use in 2023.
Upgrades to Kingsford Smith Drive have caused rolling lane closures, a slowed speed limit and significant congestion.
However, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the Kingsford Smith Drive works were on deadline.
“We’re on track to have Kingsford Smith Drive complete by the end of next year,” Cr Quirk said.
“We’ve said $650 million and we’re on track to complete it in that allocation.”
An Opposition spokesman likened the project to “a rolled-gold waste of money”.
“Labor would have scaled back the project, rather than blow $650 million to save one minute in travel time,” he said.
“We would have spent the $500 million we saved to battle congestion right across Brisbane.”
RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said the total cost for the works was a lot for the one road.
“We want to see some definite advantages to traffic flow,” Mr Turner said.
“Commuters and drivers out in that area have been suffering for years.
“Kingsford Smith Drive has essentially been a car park due to road works in many cases for many years.
“All motorists on that side of town just want to see it finished.”
Some suburbs hit with 6pc rate rise
Ratepayers can expect an average rate rise of 2.5 per cent or 77 cents per week.
Residents in the southside will be hit the hardest by rate rises, with those in areas including Mansfield and Sunnybank expecting an increase of about 6-7 per cent or $100 per year.
Along a similar vein to yesterday’s State Budget, Councillor Quirk said he did not want the city to be left behind.
Ratepayers can expect an average rate rise of 2.5 per cent or 77 cents per week. (ABC News: Timothy Swanston)
“We have had significant declines in revenue,” Cr Quirk said.
“We can cut back on the infrastructure that we’re building in this city or we simply have to pass those certain costs on.
“Ratepayers continue to say to me, as the city grows they do not want us to fall behind with the infrastructure build.
“If we’re going to keep our city modern, if we’re going to keep our city moving then we have to invest in its future.
“That’s what this budget is about.”
Parking increases ‘a big slug on motorists’
Motorists will also see a rise in metered parking costs — about 10 per cent in most parts of the city — following a five-year freeze on increases.
“Parking metre fees will increase by at least 10 per cent from 1 July. This is a big slug on motorists who already spend an average of $200 a week on transport costs,” Mr Turner from the RACQ said.
“It’s been a number of years since the last time these fees went up, but it’s still a large jump in one year.
“This means on-street parking up to three hours in the CBD will go from $4.40/hour to $4.90/hour, or if you’re in a city fringe area like Fortitude Valley or West End, from $2.70/hour to $3/hour.”
Inner-city parking issues have already caused deep revenue losses for Brisbane restaurants and cafes.
$43 million to be spent on bikeways
The big ticket item is funding for the Brisbane Metro, but the State Government still owns two key blocks of land at Woolloongabba and Eight Mile Plains.
“If not gifted by State Government to Brisbane City Council, this Council is absolutely prepared to enter into commercial arrangements with the State Government,” Cr Quirk said.
The bikeway budget is the largest single-year allocation to bike paths in council’s history. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin. file photo)
The budget also announced millions of dollars for new parks, recreation centres and community hubs.
A sum of $43.7 million will be spent on bikeway investment, the largest single-year allocation to bikeways in council’s history.
That spending includes $8.5 million for the Indooroopilly Bikeway, $4 million for the Botanic Gardens Riverwalk, $2.9 million for Stage 1 of the Kangaroo Point Bikeway and $3.2 million for the new Gabba Bikeway.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said the organisation welcomed the funding.
“We will work with council and the community to ensure this funding goes towards priority projects across Brisbane, including the North Brisbane Bikeway,” Ms Savage said.