Work will begin on a significant expansion of Redcliffe Hospital, major roads will be upgraded, school infrastructure added, police resources bolstered and a barge to Moreton Island returned during the next term of the Labor State Government, after it was given a mandate to deliver all it promised before the poll.
Moreton Daily spoke with the returned Members of Parliament for Redcliffe, Bancroft and Murrumba about what locals could reasonably expect of their government in the next four years.
The Deputy Premier, Health Minister and State Member for Murrumba Steven Miles, Attorney-General and State Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath, and State Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting met us at Redcliffe Hospital, which will be transformed in the next term.
For Mr Miles, his top priority was “getting to work on the hospital projects”.
“We’ve got construction underway here at Redcliffe and a big project at Caboolture and plans for an even bigger expansion here at Redcliffe and then three new satellite hospitals for the region – one at Petrie, which I’m really hoping we can do at the Mill site, one at Caboolture and one at Bribie,” he said.
During the last term, the State Government invested more than $116 million in upgrading the Redcliffe Hospital, with projects including: building a special care nursery and birth suite and improving paediatric care; constructing an additional operating theatre; building the multi-storey carpark; and buying and installing an MRI Machine and second CT scanner.
Mr Miles said the business case planning process for the major expansion would take 18 months to two years.
“That’s about how long it took for Caboolture. We’ve got a lot of work to happen between now and then,” he said.
Ms D’Ath said there would continue to be plenty of work happening in the meantime.
“That’s including grading the emergency department, obviously the second CT has arrived. We didn’t think we were getting that until next year, but the second CT is here. People were asking me during the election, ‘where’s the MRI?’. It’s been delivered, so that’s really exciting. You can see all the construction going on,” she said.
Mr Miles said the community could expect to see construction of the major expansion “underway in the next four years and probably continuing beyond that”.
“It took us nearly five years to get Caboolture finished. It should be ahead of that sort of timeframe,” he said.
Ms D’Ath said: “We’re looking at a major expansion, it looks almost like doubling the hospital, so that’s a massive job. I think the public will be keen to know what the design looks like and what it actually means. Once the planning process is done, we’ll be able to release those designs and people will be able to see what this actually looks like”.
“For me, this is really exciting because I think the fear always was, when North Lakes developed, that we would lose services to North Lakes. It was certainly my fear and what we’ve seen, since the Palaszczuk Government came in, is a massive investment. I think it’s the biggest investment we’ve seen in two decades in this hospital and it continues to grow.”
Infrastructure is also the top priority for Mr Whiting.
“The planning for Burpengary (East) State School and roads infrastructure - the widening of Deception Bay Road. We’ll start on the Deception Bay Road overpass, a new school hall at Deception Bay State School and the artificial running track at Zammit Oval,” he said.
“In North Lakes, it’s to start the planning for the new fire station.”
Ms D’Ath is keen to see the Scarborough masterplan progress and lights installed at Dolphin Stadium, which she hopes will help it in its bid to join the NRL after the Brisbane Roar announced it would play it home games at the venue this season.
“The next 12 months is what can we do to support jobs in this region, so really working with the local community, local business about getting people to buy locally, support locally, help boost our tourism locally to get those jobs going. The focus of the government’s going to be – COVID’s not over, so keeping us safe and making sure we can manage that properly so we can open up our local economy,” she said.
The expression of interest process for a barge to Moreton Island from the Redcliffe peninsula has closed.
“I hear there was more than one applicant. To the plane that was flying overhead on election day saying, ‘where’s the barge Yvette?’, watch this space,” Ms D’Ath said.
“I’m hoping to get a briefing in the next few days to understand the timeframe, especially now there is more than one application. I don’t know how many more, but I know there’s definitely more than one. I am very confident that someone will prevail through that process and I’m thrilled that there’s more than one interested. I’m ready to get on that barge, I want that barge happening.”
Other commitments the trio is excited about include extra police for the region, mobile police beats arriving in 2021, school-based police support officers, school-based GPs and psychologists, and infrastructure for schools including $700,000 in fencing for Humpybong State School and $500,000 for outside school hours care facilities at North Lakes State College.