Candidates need to identify their commitments to Sunshine Coast
  • Monday 30 October 2017
rail

State election candidates and political parties have been called on to outline their commitments to ensure Sunshine Coast receives a fairer share of funding in the future with public transport infrastructure topping the list.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the region’s long-standing needs had been overlooked by successive State governments for decades and the State election provided an opportunity for candidates to show their true colours.

“This State election is an important opportunity for the major parties to clearly demonstrate their commitment to re-energising the Sunshine Coast economy, providing the programs and investment to generate jobs and improving the future prosperity and liveability of our communities,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Government infrastructure investment has not kept pace with growth and our infrastructure and facilities cannot respond to the needs of the existing, let alone the future, population.

“The two major challenges to be addressed are under-investment in infrastructure – particularly public transport which is the responsibility of the State Government – and the need for certainty and confidence in the region.”

The council has identified the top six state-government infrastructure election commitments needed to improve the region’s connectivity and contribute to advancing the region’s and the State’s goals and future prosperity:

  1. North Coast rail duplication
  2. Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project
  3. Mooloolah River Interchange
  4. Sunshine Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
  5. University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium Expansion
  6. International Broadband Submarine Cable

Mayor Jamieson also sought policy commitments to help build certainty and confidence in the region:

  1. Relocating public servants to regional areas
  2. Maintaining current local government area boundaries
  3. Transparency in disclosure of taxation revenue generated by the Sunshine Coast region
  4. Accurate reflection of State Government capital works expenditure according to local government areas

“These priorities collectively enable the region, and council, to get on with the job of building a strong future for our residents and future generations,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“They will instil greater confidence in the market place and infrastructure and generate a greater level of private investment interest.

“Public transport is the responsibility of the State Government and Sunshine Coast Council calls on all political parties and their candidates to commit to taking on that responsibility.

“These transport infrastructure projects will enable greater connectivity and reduce congestion across the region.”

Mayor Jamieson said infrastructure supported business efficiency and was a critical factor in improving the region’s economic competiveness.

“The underinvestment in infrastructure demonstrates that for many years, under successive governments, other regions including those smaller than the Sunshine Coast, have had more funding attention,” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast’s transport system, road, rail and public transport infrastructure is under significant pressure due to strong population growth, the expanded settlement pattern, increasing private vehicle use and growing freight movements resulting in worsening peak hour traffic and the overcrowding of passenger transport services.

“There is a real risk that without significant investment the region’s transport network will fail.

“This will affect the region’s connectivity to the rest of south east Queensland and impact on the productivity of the whole State as communities will become dislocated, access to services and jobs will be limited and the ability of the council to meet its economic and social objectives will be undermined.

“This council is doing all the heavy lifting, putting in place the programs to help achieve those outcomes, but we can’t – and shouldn’t have to – do it alone.  Between them the State and Federal governments receive 97 cents in every dollar of taxation we pay. By comparison, council receives three cents so I don’t believe this region has had its fair share of the 97 cents for a long time.”