Subjects: Mango Hill park and ride, PFAS
CORINNE MULHOLLAND: Welcome here to the Mango Hill train station. We’re standing in one of the fastest growing communities in Australia. We know that the Australian Bureau of Statistics told us that North Lakes and Mango Hill are growing communities full of local families, commuters who want to get around, get to work or simply get their kids to school. I’ve been working really closely with our fantastic state members, Steven Miles and Chris Whiting. I’ve been working really closely with them to see this project come to fruition and I’m so glad to welcome Anthony Albanese here today to make a really special announcement.
I’ve been out over the weekend and the last couple of weeks talking to people who live here in Mango Hill and North Lakes and they’ve told me that they would love to utilise this train station, even more than they do, but they simply can’t find a park. And I don’t know about your experience today, but I certainly had a bit of car park rage trying to find a car park, so this will certainly be put to great use and I’m so glad to be part of a Federal Labor team who’s delivering for the people here in North Lakes and Mango Hill.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Corinne, and it is fantastic to be here at Mango Hill Station, a station that is of course a part of the new Redcliffe Rail Line. I came here as an Infrastructure Minister in government, partnering with the then Bligh Labor Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support the Redcliffe Rail Line – First promised in 1895, but delivered by the cooperation between Federal and State Labor Governments and the local Council. It was a part of our commitment to public transport, a commitment that saw us when we were last in office invest more in public transport projects than all previous governments combined since Federation. And of course here the Redcliffe Rail Line, further south, the other side of Brisbane, of course the Gold Coast Light Rail and here we want to partner with the Queensland Labor Government on the Cross River Rail project. That will of course increase the capacity of the rail network throughout South East Queensland. But of course we also have to consider the infrastructure around rail stations and Corinne and the State Members Chris and Stephen have campaigned very strongly to make sure that there is an increase in the commuter car parking here at Mango Hill Station.
We can see this morning that the car park here is already well over 100 per cent capacity and that’s why Federal Labor will contribute $4 million for the car park here at Mango Hill. We want to partner with state and local governments around the country to increase the number of Park and Ride facilities. We know that this has been identified by people in outer suburbs as being a real impediment to catching public transport and here this station is already over capacity. That’s why the $4 million commitment from Federal Labor will enable an increase in car parking here at the rail station to be brought forward in partnership with the Queensland Government.
It’s an important commitment. It’s a part of our $300 million national Park and Ride facility that was announced by Bill Shorten, the Labor leader, at the NSW ALP conference just a few weeks ago. We’ve identified, as we’ve gone around the country, this as one of the issues that people raise with Labor members and Labor candidates about what they want the Federal Government to be engaged with. It’s only Federal Labor that actually invests in public transport facilities.
Malcolm Turnbull quite likes taking selfies on trains and trams, he just won’t fund them. And he won’t fund the Cross River Rail project. He was happy to come to the Redcliffe rail station opening when it occurred, but he wasn’t happy to put in a single dollar to either that project or to the Cross River Rail project. That’s why it’s only Federal Labor that will deliver on public transport. We want people like Corinne to be elected, to be part of the Labor team, so we can continue to build on the legacy Labor has when it comes to public transport.
STEPHEN MILES: Well this is great news for Mango Hill locals. My family and I live not far from here and this is our train station. Fortunately we don’t need to drive; we can just walk down but as you can see many people do drive to here. Not just from throughout Mango Hill but also neighbouring North Lakes. The car park here is well over capacity and this investment if Labor is elected will allow us to increase the car parking here at Mango Hill.
It’s an excellent example of why our region needs a Labor Government, needs Corinne Mulholland to be our new representative. She will deliver for Mango Hill and for the electorate of Petrie where her opponent, Luke Howarth, has delivered nothing even though he is a member of the Government.
WHITING: Well we have a great lifestyle here in North Lakes and Mango Hill and with this $4 million investment in the car park, and Cross River Rail, this is going to be an even better place to live and once again, it’s only Labor that people can rely on here to deliver the infrastructure we need.
ALBANESE: Happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: What are you actually going to do to improve the carpark? Increase the numbers, or simply seal it (inaudible)?
ALBANESE: We’ll work with the Queensland Government on the details of the proposal. Quite clearly there’s an unsealed area just to the right of us here today that could be used, but there’s a range of land around this station. It has been identified, when we’ve had discussions with Mark Bailey, the Minister in the Queensland Government, it’s been identified as the number one priority because it can be brought forward with this investment. So we’ll be working on that between now and the Federal Election. Corinne has campaigned very strongly for this and this is a great day for the people of Mango Hill and the people of North Lakes. It builds on our commitment.
JOURNALIST: I do have a question for the Health Minister which is separate to this, if you are happy to take questions. It’s just in relation to a PFAS story; what’s your reaction to the news that contamination could be more widespread than first originally reported?
MILES: Understandably there is a very high level of community concern about these pollutants. Queensland remains the only state that has banned their use. We have called upon the Commonwealth to ban their use federally. They continue to use them at sites that they regulate and that’s unfortunate. I’ve seen the reports today, I’ll seek advice from the Chief Health Officer to determine whether any further steps are needed from Queensland Health’s perspective.
JOURNALIST: Do you think there needs to be a national investigation given the potential risks?
MILES: Well I’ve said consistently, both during my time as Environment Minister and now as Health Minister that the Federal Government needs to do more to address these community concerns. They’ve failed frankly in managing the sites that they’re responsible for, defence sites and aviation sites primarily. They should do more, they should support Queensland’s ban, they should be more proactive in advising (inaudible).
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.