Minister presides over Cardwell rail fail


A CRUCIAL piece of rail infrastructure in Cardwell is being left to rot because of bureaucratic incompetence, says Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

Mr Dametto was furious that upgrades to the Brasenose Street level crossing, announced during the last term of parliament, were still not complete after local resident Ken Winkley first raised the issue with him in July last year.

“Since this project was announced, there was been little progress other than some foundational works,” Mr Dametto said.

“Today, I visited the site with Mr Winkley for a personal inspection and was gobsmacked by what I saw.

“We have construction materials that have been rotting out there for more than a year and the best Transport Minister Mark Bailey can come up with is that a “rigorous testing and approval process” for level crossing technologies being introduced took longer than expected. How on earth does it take that long? We’re not reinventing the wheel here.”

Responding to a Question on Notice from Mr Dametto in parliament in October, Mr Bailey said Queensland Rail anticipated a contract for commissioning works on the rail crossing would be awarded this month with the upgrade to be completed in June 2020.

“The anticipated completion date for this project was February this year and now the timeline has blown out almost a year-and-a-half. The contempt this State Labor Government has shown for the people of Cardwell on this issue is disgusting,” Mr Dametto said.

“If this was a level crossing in Brisbane, the upgrade would have been done in a matter of months. Yet our office had to make enquiries with Queensland Rail and then follow up with two Questions on Notice from me direct to the Minister in parliament before we got any clarity on when this project would be finalised.

“I just hope the Minister can reconsider the project’s timeframe for completion and bring it forward in line with public expectations.”

The upgrade will convert the Brasenose Street level crossing from passive to active protection with the installation of flashing lights.

Nick Dametto MP