CCIQ calls on Council to improve roads and congestion urgently
The Brisbane City Council must do more to ease traffic congestion and fix key roads, according to a new poll of small businesses.
In an exclusive CCIQ survey on Local Government, ahead of the March 19 council elections, more than 1100 small businesses across Queensland have voiced their opinions.
Almost one quarter of respondents (240) were from Brisbane – Australia’s largest local government area.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said it was clear from the response that many small businesses were not satisfied with traffic congestion around Brisbane, which needed to be addressed as a priority.
“According to the Brisbane business community the top three most important roles of the BCC are: roads; planning and development; and core council services,” he said.
Mr Behrens said small business identified infrastructure priorities for Brisbane as:
• Ease traffic congestion in Brisbane City as a matter of priority;
• Accelerate upgrades to the Wynnum Road Corridor to ease congestion;
• Conduct lane-widening and road-sealing along Kingsford Smith Drive;
• Progress upgrades to the Inner City Bypass to increase Brisbane’s capacity;
• More cost-effective public transport facilities to encourage greater patronage;
• Deliver Cross River Rail as a congestion-busting measure;
“Brisbane businesses were asked how effective the BCC is at providing the above infrastructure,” he said.
“Overall the BCC’s effectiveness appears to be relatively solid with room for noticeable improvement only in the area of planning and development – 20 per cent of businesses believe the council is not effective at administrating this responsibility.
“Many of the businesses felt their expansion plans had been stymied by bureaucratic council planning processes, with stream-lining of this process needed.”
Mr Behrens said CCIQ recognised the vital role that council played in building and sustaining the SEQ economy.
“Small businesses believe the activities of BCC are of crucial importance in their day-to-day activities.
“Difficulties in planning and development act as a break on economic activity and jobs at a time when business conditions are challenging in Brisbane,” he said.
“CCIQ calls on the BCC and the next Lord Mayor to prioritise reducing the burden of planning and development on business.”
The importance of Local Government Infrastructure in Brisbane
The effectiveness of Local Government in Brisbane
Mr Behrens said CCIQ was committed to working constructively with all councillors across Brisbane over the coming four years to address those issues and challenges confronting the small business community.
“The next BCC must also work closely with Brisbane’s small businesses to shape South East Queensland’s economic and social environments in a way that promotes business growth and community prosperity,” he said.
“Regardless of who forms the next BCC, it is essential that it implement services and infrastructure that address small business needs.”
CCIQ’s statement of principles and purposes for local government in Queensland:
• Ensure that Council’s finances are managed in a fiscally responsible manner;
• Seek the removal of unnecessary business regulation with the objective of eliminating anti-competitive provisions, which cannot be justified in the public interest. This includes an overriding objective of easing compliance costs of legislation, regulation and taxation;
• Maintain essential infrastructure and services at a level which encourages economic development. This can be achieved through the promotion of private sector alternatives to the funding and/or operation of local government infrastructure assets;
• Ensure that charges imposed are competitive with other comparable jurisdictions; and
• Encourage practices which enhance the transparency and accountability of its decision making.
Source: Westpac Group CCIQ Pulse Survey of Business Conditions, December Quarter 2015.
Survey period: 12-29 January 2016. Respondents: Qld: 1132, Brisbane: 240