Local Resident Talks About the Need to Fix Bribie Island Road and Bribie Island Bridge

Long-time Ningi resident, Paulie Buckman is calling on politicians to tell the community at an upcoming public forum what they plan to do to fix Bribie Island Road and the Bribie Island bridge.

“I’d like to see the people that make the big decisions be there and actually say what they’re going to do,” Ms Buckman said in the podcast interview above.

This comes after Ms Buckman has witnessed multiple accidents and traffic blockages on Bribie Island Road over the years her family has lived in the area.
Bribie Island Road and Bridge Forum info

Bribie Bridge Poll

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Podcast Interview Transcript

McCarthy-Wood: Thank you very much for your company again, we have a public forum coming up, it’s over on Bribie. It’s all about the Bribie Island Road and the bridge. The question is, should there be more investment in the road infrastructure between the Bruce Highway and Bribie Island and, should there be a second bridge?
Now we’ve got somebody on the line that’s got quite a bit of experience. They live in Ningi, their name’s Paulie. Paulie, how are you?

Paulie Buckman: Good thanks Andrew, nice to chat with you.

McCarthy-Wood: How long have you been in the Ningi area and traversing on the Bribie Island Road?

Paulie Buckman: Well, we moved here in 1997. My husband and I built a home here and we’ve raised our teenagers here, they’re now both drivers themselves. Our children now use the road, so generational thing isn’t it?

McCarthy-Wood: Yeah, over that period of time, have you seen any issues that have really stood out to you on that road?

Paulie Buckman: Oh a couple yeah. I remember the children, they’re now like 17, 19, so they were probably about 4 and 2, and they were on the back seat of the car and it was a Sunday evening, and just had a little bit of rain, and it was getting dark, and we were heading towards Bribie direction. We’d just gone past the Shell service station, and a car was coming towards us from the Bribie side of the highway there, and it aquaplaned in the water, and came straight forward to us. My husband had to dodge that car, and we had to dodge a pole, and then I looked back behind us and that car did a 360 and ended up in the ditch. So that was one incident. The kids were asleep in the backseat, so that was a bit of a shaky one but I’ve had a couple.
So I was still a little bit shaky from that experience and then two days later a four-wheel drive was heading towards Bribie, I was heading towards Caboolture down near the two bridges where it floods. So that’s another major problem with Bribie Island Road, is the flooding when we get the rain event. And now four-wheel drive had a trailer, it came across to our side of the road, there’s a car in front of me, this car was trying to slow down and I was trying to slow down but that four wheel drive went across, went into the water, and luck was on our side. It was like little angels popped out in the car behind us-

McCarthy-Wood: Wow.

Paulie Buckman: … About five guys in orange SES suites popped out and they took over. It was pretty good. That was within two days, those two incidents. And I was a little bit shaky after that because I though, “Oh, is this is going to happen all the time or have I just avoided bad accidents?” I remember the road was always 100 past our state, and you’d always come out going, “Oh, gosh, but I can’t get on this road doing a 100.” And then I think there’s more accidents along that road, so then it’s changed to 80. And it wasn’t a bad time to change to 80 because our children just starting to learn how to drive. And I’ve always said to them if they couldn’t get out, they could go left around the roundabout for safety reasons. So, it was always in the back of our mind, our kids learning to drive as well. But, I’ve seen also an ambulance go round a roundabout near the 711, and I think it had a patient in the back and it rolled over with the patient in the back.

McCarthy-Wood: Oh, wow.

Paulie Buckman: I think they resurfaced that part of the road there too. And I’ve seen sign of cows in the corner of the ditch at sunset and I though, “Well they managed to got through some fencing.” So, never a dull moment on the Bribie Island Road.

McCarthy-Wood: Look, this Sunday, March 17 at 10:30 AM, there’s a forum. You’re heavily involved in this. What’s the motivation for you getting involved in the forum?

Paulie Buckman: Oh, my job is … my background is radio and MCing and it happens to be in my backyard, so I think if I wasn’t on the microphone I’d probably be one of the be interested audience participants probably. But, it is a lifestyle thing we live in a beautiful, and I think the population explosion of the Southeast has … its caught up in all of the areas around this region including Bribie Island Road. So, I think any investment to make the road safe and … not only do have accidents but we also have gridlock, and then we also have rain offence. It predominantly floods the road and we have bypass and go past St Michaels’ side to get to the Bruce Highway. So, a lot of people live in this region and, if they’re anything like me, will wind up Bribie Island Road at least, minimum, twice a day. So, it’s our daily lifestyle I suppose.

McCarthy-Wood: Paulie look, being a local resident and having seen that road, you’ve travelled it multiple times a day, anytime you want to go anywhere you pretty well got to end up on it if you’re in that Ningi area. What are some of the things that you’d like to see done to maybe to both the road, and then bridge, and some of the infrastructure onto Bribie Island?

Paulie Buckman: Yeah, it’s a hard one isn’t it? Because I know it falls down to money, and it’s not up to the residents to funnel where the money’s got to go. But, I suppose they’ve got to see exactly how many cars are on the road, and what hours, and what days. If it’s a month or two with the big hotel, and Bribie’s [inaudible 00:05:03] playground, and people love going to the beach and they bypass … I think they go to Bribie instead of going to the Sunshine Coast if they’re from Brisbane. So, we’re getting a lot of Brisbanite. Which is not a bad thing, but, as I said, the roads can only take so much traffic. I don’t think it was designed for 25,000 cars a day.

McCarthy-Wood: Paulie, you’ve mentioned a couple of the traffic incidents’ that you’ve come across. What’s your reaction to the prospect that if something big was to happen on Bribie Island … It wasn’t that long ago that we had the news coming through that fires were burning through Bribie, and there have been times over the years that those fires have been fairly full on. But there’s other events that could happen, and as you mentioned the roads do get cut. So, Ningi can get somewhat isolated as well. What’s your reaction to potentially people being isolated with a big incident happening?

Paulie Buckman: Well, you just hope good coordination by the emergency services, and they’re really smart, the emergency services. And we have got an airport close by, and we do have the passage for boats to access I suppose. And it’s not just Ningi’s [inaudible 00:06:18] point [inaudible 00:06:18] but also Beachmere. When it rains heavily Beachmere becomes isolated, there’s only two ways into Beachmere so it’s interesting. It does impact a lot of people whether it weather related or just heavy traffic from very popular places. There’s a lot of things to consider. We’ve even had a tsunami warning, the kids were probably in Primary School. I remember the Primary School ringing me up saying, “We’ve had a tsunami warning you need to come pick up the kids.” And first thing that goes through your mind there is, “Okay, we’ve got to get to higher ground, and get the kids and …” So, that was a real surprise. Luckily that wasn’t major and then fizzled out, the tsunami warning. But it just shows you anything can happen.

McCarthy-Wood: Paulie, on the Sunday, March 17 it’s the Sunday coming up, the public forum what would you like to see come out of that?

Paulie Buckman: I’d like to see the people that make the big decisions be there and actually say what they’re going to do. Minster to the main road. Emergency service workers, what they’ve got in plan for us, for emergencies? The political parties with [inaudible 00:07:25] where are they funnelling the money to and when’s it all going to happen? So, this is a chance where the locals can actually say, “Look, this is how it’s affecting our daily life.” Gather information and then use that information. Every five years we have a census. They know the population growth’s moving around the different areas. It’s shouldn’t be a surprise. They need the people that have got to organise different things when it comes to infrastructure.

McCarthy-Wood: This Sunday, March 17 at 10:30 AM, there is a public forum. It will be hosted by Simone [Welson 00:07:56] who’s the LNP state member for Pumicestone, and there will be some other politicians there. There’s been many been any invites going out. You’re also welcome to come along. Paulie, thank you very much for spending time with our listeners.

Paulie Buckman: Not, a problem Andrew. Look forward to the forum.

By Andrew McCarthy-Wood

News Videographer/Photographer/Journalist and Media/Communications Consultant.