Light rail 2020 – Taskforce announced
  • Friday 09 March 2012

Sunshine Coast Council today announced the Light Rail Taskforce team following its call for nominations and expressions of interest from the Sunshine Coast community.

On 24 August 2011 council resolved to establish a Sunshine Coast Light Rail Taskforce with representation from council, business and the community with its role to be the development of the business case for light rail on the Coast.

Project Leader Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project, Mr Ken Deutscher said an extensive cross-section of interested business and community members sought to share their experience and passion for the region by volunteering their time and commitment to the Taskforce.

"The new Taskforce which has been approved by Sunshine Coast Council CEO John Knaggs, is made up of a visionary group of people, committed to realising the potential of light rail to contribute to our community and transform our region," Mr Deutscher said.

There is a diverse quartet of local residents representing the community on the Taskforce:

  • Ms Marta Botta a Board member of Sippy Downs District Community Association and post graduate student of Sustainability and Futures;
  • Mr Mitchell Kesby a public transport supporter who has grown up on the Sunshine Coast and will ensure a youthful perspective;
  • Mr Ashley Gear, long-time resident, transport industry worker and active community advocate; and
  • Professor Barry Harrison a passionate conservationist, recently retired after an illustrious career in education and commercial practice.

"We are also very privileged to have some of the most forward thinking, dynamic and successful minds on the Coast representing our key industry and community sectors," Mr Deutscher said.

The industry and community sector representatives include:

  • Mr James Birrell, Sunshine Coast Landscape Architect and light rail advocate;
  • Professor Mike Hefferan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) and Professor Property and Development of the Sunshine Coast University;
  • Professor Ian Lowe, Adjunct Professor of the USC and President of the Australian Conservation Foundation;
  • Mr Ross Hepworth, Institute Director Sunshine Coast TAFE;
  • Mr Stephen Dittman, Chair of the Sunshine Coast Chambers of Commerce Alliance and member of the Sunshine Coast Economic Development and Advisory Board;
  • Mr Steve Cooper, CEO Sunshine Coast Destination Limited;
  • Ms Natasha Hart, Department of Transport and Main Roads Public Transport Advisory Group; and
  • Ms Sandy Zubrinich, Chair of the Sunshine Coast Business Council.

Mr Ken Deutscher said he would also like to acknowledge everyone who has registered interest and contributed to date.

"As the level of interest far exceeded the number of positions on the Taskforce I encourage all who applied to become ‘friends’ of the project and continue to contribute their expertise for the Sunshine Coast," he said.

"We welcome such contributions via Taskforce stakeholder groups and forums which will be held on the Project Consultation Hub,

"The Taskforce will be fundamental to the success of the light rail project.

"Its role will be to build support for the project within the community and contribute to the business case by bringing to the table a wide-ranging and diverse perspective, expertise and collective commitment to the Sunshine Coast.

"The Taskforce members will work with the council project team, elected councillors and senior executives to develop a business case for light rail on the Coast. This will also include review and rapid assessment of other transport options.

"They will deliver the pre-feasibility study to the new council in May 2012. Future requirements for Taskforce work will then be determined by council in deciding whether to progress to a full feasibility study.

"The first Taskforce meeting is expected to take place later this month," Mr Deutscher concluded.