Private Members Statements: Noosa Electorate -Beckmans Road
Extract from Hansard, 15 September 2016
Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (2.41 pm): It is time for this government to pay attention to the needs of the Sunshine Coast and in particular my electorate of Noosa, and not just those communities that belong to its own sitting members.
In the 10 years I have had the honour of representing the people of Noosa and the seven years at the perilous hands of a Labor government, the only change in Noosa—which was far from an improvement—was the unwanted and forced arranged marriage with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, which is why, I suggest, the wary constituents of Noosa voted Labor third at the last two state elections.
More than any other community in Queensland, Noosa defines itself as being truly sustainable—evidenced by becoming Queensland’s first designated biosphere under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme, which means it is possible for man to live sustainably within a healthy environment. Part of this has been assisting our water supply and demand, ensuring that we can sustain the people who live in our community and not exhaust our natural resources now and into the future.
As a community we have tackled issues like height restrictions and excessive signage. Like all communities, we continue to work with council to keep up with the demands on the road network and how public transport fits into our vision.
There is a standing issue that dates back before our amalgamation with the Sunshine Coast Council, and that is the responsibility by the state government to improve or widen or duplicate Beckmans Road, which is sometimes called the Tewantin bypass. The road has multiple problems—at one end extreme traffic congestion where two schools and a residential estate feed into local traffic and at the other end a T-junction where Beckmans Road meets Cooroy Noosa Road.
It is dangerous in the extreme. What was once a dirt road to provide an alternate route in the event of flood, Beckmans Road now carries in excess of 19,000 vehicles a day and must be upgraded to meet the needs of a growing community which, as I said, includes those two very large schools and several new housing estates. In a Noosa electorate-wide survey of 23,000 residents late last year, more than one-third rated the upgrade of Beckmans Road as an urgent priority.
The solution can be achieved in three stages and over a number of years at a total cost of approximately $40 million, which is a reasonable investment for priority road infrastructure that will ensure the future of Noosa is not hamstrung through inaction.