Last chance to sign public transport petition
PEOPLE are being urged to get in and sign an E-petition to State Parliament calling for the improvement of public transport services across the Rockhampton, Gracemere and Mount Morgan areas before it closes today.
The Queensland Election is done and dusted but that hasn’t slowed former Rockhampton candidate for Legalise Cannabis Queensland, Laura Barnard, from challenging the incoming government to deliver better public transport outcomes.
Her petition calling for the revision and improvement of existing bus networks and ticketing regulations for all residents including Gracemere and surrounds, and an increase in funding for public transport expansions in the region to accommodate for a growing population, has attracted strong support on social media, garnering over 200 signatures.
“I’ve travelled many places both internationally and here in Australia, regional and high population towns alike,” Ms Barnard said.
“Our public transport system desperately needs an overhaul, it needs to support our locals and growing community.”
She said simple steps to improve transport and encourage tourism included providing easy to read timetables, displaying a clear, colour coded route map with easily identifiable landmarks (ie. Kershaw Gardens, CQU, Stocklands, Hospital etc.) and a QR code which led to a multilingual user friendly website.
“This will not cost the tax payer a bucket load, in fact I am happy to directly assist in the design of these upgrades – after all I have direct qualifications and first account knowledge to benefit from,” she said.
“Our community deserves better transport, I’m not asking for anything unreasonable – I’m asking for some consideration as to our growing community.”
Ms Barnard said Gracemere in particular needed better transport, and ease of access to Rockhampton.
“It will improve ability to access health services, education and job outlooks for many – as well as the benefit of more foot traffic for local businesses,” she said.
Another issue she highlighted was the need to give local bus stops a “drastic makeover”.
“The only signage display is a time frame of operation; not good enough,” she said.
A TransLink spokesperson said it worked closely with its delivery partners and assessed customer feedback on an ongoing basis to identify potential service improvements throughout the state.
“We receive many requests for new services across Queensland and these requests must be considered and prioritised against the competing needs of the network as a whole and the levels of funding available,” the spokesperson said.
“The safety of customers, including school students, is our number one priority and the carriage of standing passengers is permitted along the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton to Gracemere.
“Gracemere and Mount Morgan are serviced by routes 21 and 22, which operate six days per week and connect both towns to work, education, health and recreation in Rockhampton.”
Translink said these current services provided significant travel opportunities and available capacity between Rockhampton and Gracemere or Mount Morgan.
“TransLink is aware of the current petition on the Queensland Parliament website regarding public transport accessibility for the Rockhampton region, including Gracemere, and will consider community feedback once the petition has closed,” it said.
The Morning Bulletin contacted Transport Minister Mark Bailey and Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke for comment on the petition.
To sign the petition, visit here.
Full petition statement
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House the inadequacy of public transport across the Rockhampton, Gracemere and Mount Morgan areas; school children are being forced to stand in aisles of buses hurtling down the Capricorn Highway at 100 km/h due to insufficient transport services across the region. In accordance with the Commonwealth Government’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) Act 1994 s 2 says the state is responsible for the effective planning and efficient management of public transport. Further, (b) to provide a system of public passenger transport in the State that – (i) is responsive to the community needs; (ii) offers an attractive alternative to private transport in a way that reduces the overall environmental economic and social costs of passenger transport; (iii) addresses the challenges of future growth; (iv) provides a high level of accountability; and (v) provides public passenger services at a reasonable cost to the community and government.
Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to revise and improve existing bus networks and their ticketing regulations for all residents including Gracemere and surrounds, and increase funding for public transport expansions in the region to accommodate population demands.