Urgent call to remove rail crossings after tragedy
Not a single level crossing has been removed in southeast Queensland since 2014, leading one Federal MP to urge the State Government to commit more money to fix the deathtraps before Brisbane hosts the Olympic Games.
Bonner MP Ross Vasta has called for the Palaszczuk Government to launch a Victorian-style push to build bridges and tunnels over dangerous level crossings, after the death of a woman at the 'notorious' road-rail crossing in Lindum last week within Mr Vasta's bayside electorate.
It's the second death to occur at Lindum in two years.
The Level Crossing Removal Program in Melbourne has so far removed 45 crossings since 2015, compared to zero in southeast Queensland.
Public transport advocacy group Rail Back on Track has claimed there are 52 level crossings around southeast Queensland, 25 of which are "high priority."
It's led Mr Vasta to call for the State Government to do more before the Olympic Games.
"I think they should take a leaf out of Dan Andrews' playbook," he said, referring to Victoria's removal program.
"Especially if we're going for the Olympics. How bad would it be that we're on the world stage and there's level crossings?"
Mr Vasta said the bayside's politicians from all three levels of government were in agreement that the Lindum Station crossing needed to go.
"There's been too much political bickering about it, we just want to get on with fixing it," he said.
The Federal Government had committed $85 million and Brisbane City Council $40 million to removing the crossing, but so far Mr Vasta claimed there had been no input from the State.
In a statement on Tuesday, Rail Back on Track's Robert Dow slammed progress in removing level crossings as "embarrassingly slow."
State Transport Minister Mark Bailey meanwhile said he had asked his department to investigate options to "accelerate the upgrade at Lindum."
Mr Bailey said "level crossing upgrades" would include new traffic signals and a pedestrian overpass, but did not mention putting the road above or below the rail line.
Brisbane City Council infrastructure chair David McLachlan said traffic lights were a "bandaid fix."
"This open level crossing needs to be removed," Cr McLachlan said.
"We are still waiting on the Labor State Government to commit funding to remove this open level crossing so we can get this vital safety upgrade underway."
Originally published as Urgent call to remove rail crossings after tragedy