The $186 million upgrade of the Indooroopilly Roundabout at Coonan St and Moggill Rd is part of the Moggill Rd Corridor Upgrade program, funded by Brisbane City Council and the Federal government.
Back in 2019, I wrote to the Lord Mayor urging Council to prioritise dedicated bus lanes, safe cycling infrastructure and better pedestrian access as part of the upgrade. Unfortunately the Lord Mayor's reply failed to commit to any positive changes, and in mid-2021, construction commenced.
Since then, local residents have been contacting me about significant noise impacts from ongoing night-time works, including near constant noise from 7:30pm on Sundays until 5:30am the following Tuesday. In August 2023, I spoke with 7 News about the ongoing impacts on local residents.
In April 2022, I made a Right to Information application for the Noise and Vibration Management Plan (NVMP) for the upgrade, but Council refused to provide copies, and instead asked us to inspect it in person.
Council did provide us with the results of some noise monitoring that was carried out in April 2022, which indicated average night time noise levels that were twice as loud as the objectives for human health and wellbeing provided in the Environmental Protection (Noise) Policy 2019. This is especially concerning considering residents have been experiencing night time works since mid-2021, with construction expected to continue into 2024.
Brisbane City Council didn’t need to obtain any environmental approvals for the impacts to local residents caused by noise, fumes, light or dust because of special exemptions for maintaining roads. Council is still required to take “reasonable and practicable measures” to prevent or minimise environmental impacts, but they aren’t required to disclose what those measures are.
I think that should change. So in July 2023 I wrote to the Lord Mayor, the Environment Minister and the Transport Minister urging them to ensure public access to the environmental management plans for this project and others of this kind.
With these government projects entitled to cause environmental nuisance without approval, the public should at least be able to see the mitigation measures and plans. Any other project which causes an environmental nuisance must obtain approval and make its management plans available on the public register.
I have made a further Right to Information application for any noise monitoring data or monthly environmental reports for the project and will keep you updated.