Problem-solving for rail projects  

 

In 1994, George Baird established a front end loader hire business with the purchase of two loaders from a local businessman in South East Queensland. With the support of his wife Shaneen, Baird grew the business to a fleet of 20 machines with major customers in rail, recycling and materials handling.  Read more

Accessible transport council to guide Queensland projects

The Queensland state government has established a new Accessible Transport Advisory Council to give input on accessibility for transport projects around the state.

The Council would advocate on behalf of those with vision, hearing, physical, or cognitive impairments, as well as older people, parents, and youth justice groups. The Council will directly advise the Minister, the director-general of Transport and Main Roads, and the CEO of Queensland Rail.

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Council would assist the government in avoiding accessibility issues, such as the bungled design of the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR), which required the trains to be retrofitted to comply with disability legislation.

“The existing approach to accessibility on road and transport upgrades has been piecemeal, and this new independent body will provide frank and expert advice on how we can make our record $23 billion pipeline of road and transport projects accessible for all Queenslanders,” said Bailey.

“The establishment of the Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council (QATAC) will provide disability-sector representatives with an unprecedented opportunity for early and authentic consultation on all major transport projects.

In addition to the Council, the Queensland government is investing $500 million in accessibility upgrades for train stations in the state’s south east.

“As part of Queensland’s economic recovery plan, the Palaszczuk Government is investing an additional $136 million for accessibility upgrades at Bundamba, Burpengary, Banyo and Wooloowin train stations which will include full platform raising, setting a new standard for all future station upgrades to be delivered by Queensland Rail,” said Bailey.

Chairing the Council is former District Court judge Michael Forde, who was a commissioner on the NGR inquiry. An expression of interest process for membership has now begun and will run until mid-November.

“This will be a template for all transport infrastructure, requiring the council be formally consulted before the finalisations of any plans. This will apply to all forms of transport,” said Forde.

Varsity Lakes

New carpark for Varsity Lakes station

The Queensland government has confirmed funding for a new commuter carpark at the Varsity Lakes train station.

The $5.2 million project will construct a 350-space carpark in the northern Gold Coast suburb.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the carpark was part of a wider shift to public transport in the Gold Coast.

“The way Gold Coasters travelled 10, 20 years ago is totally different to today. We’ve seen that with 50 million trips on light rail and record patronage on public transport before COVID-19 hit,” Bailey said.

“That’s why we’re transforming the city’s transport network. We’re building new park n rides across the coast, including at Varsity Lakes, as well as light rail to Burleigh, three new train stations on the northern Gold Coast and $2.3 billion in M1 upgrades.”

A tender is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The construction of the new station carpark follows the completion of the Ormeau station where 125 new spaces were created.

“It means diggers, machinery and workers will move from Ormeau straight into the Varsity Lakes upgrade, supporting the economy and easing those parking pressures at Varsity Lakes as people head back onto the train network,” said Bailey.

The carpark formalises temporary carparking near the station that was created to get more people to the Gold Coast via public transport for the Commonwealth Games.

“During the Commonwealth Games temporary car parks were opened at Varsity Lakes station to accommodate travelling visitors and staff, and those parks will now become permanent fixtures together with 185 brand new spaces,” said Bailey.