Public transport must be given high priority this election
  • Thursday 23 November 2017
rail

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has tallied up the major political parties’ responses to his Council’s big six critical infrastructure requests ahead of Saturday’s (November 25) State Election and welcomed commitments to the North Coast Rail Line duplication.

He said the North Coast Rail Duplication had received a $300 million commitment from the LNP, subject to Federal Government funding.

The ALP has completed the business case for rail duplication to Landsborough and signalling and station upgrades and passing loops from Landsborough to Nambour. The business case, developed by Business Queensland, is under review by Infrastructure Australia. A time for delivery has not yet been proposed.

One Nation has committed $850 million towards the project.

“The duplication and upgrade of the North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Landsborough and then onto Nambour has been sought for decades to help overcome congestion and to improve the reliability, speed, capacity and accessibility of rail freight operations, commuter and long distance passenger transport services, and to improve the productivity of Queensland as a whole,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The rail line duplication and more efficient passenger and freight transport services will help relieve pressure on the Bruce Highway.

“And just as importantly, the duplication will help our railway towns prosper.”

Mayor Jamieson urged the major parties, if they hadn’t already done so, to announce their funding commitments to other projects prior to election day so voters could be fully informed when they headed to the ballot box.

Neither ALP nor LNP has committed to working with the Council to develop a comprehensive business case to accelerate the Sunshine Coast Light Rail public transport project.

“We need a public transport solution,” Mayor Jamieson said. “Public transport is the responsibility of the State Government.

“Without that critical infrastructure, we will choke along State roads. 

“The Sunshine Coast Light Rail project is as critical to the Sunshine Coast as the Cross River Rail is for the passenger rail network in Brisbane.

“I am keen to see support for a light rail solution on the Sunshine Coast and the business case is the first step to achieve this goal.

“I urge our major parties to consider making a financial commitment during this election campaign.

“Council is doing a lot of the heavy lifting and committed to funding $100 million to get this project – which is a State Government project – off the ground.

“The State Government has funded rail to Redcliffe, the Gold Coast and Ipswich, and our residents deserve the same degree of investment.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Big Six critical projects requiring funding commitments are:

  1. North Coast Rail Line Duplication
  2. Sunshine Coast Light Rail Public Transport Project
  3. Mooloolah River Interchange
  4. Sunshine Coast Convention and Exhibition
  5. University of the Sunshine Coast Indoor Stadium Expansion
  6. International Broadband Submarine Cable

“These priorities will enable the region to get on with the job of building a strong future for our residents and future generations, as they will instil greater confidence in the market place and generate a greater level of private investment interest,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The Mooloolah River Interchange will reduce future volumes along Nicklin Way and offer opportunities for a quality light rail transport system to be delivered.

“It is also critical in supporting the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct and the Kawana Town Centre, as this area develops towards full potential.

“About 60,000 vehicles connect across the Mooloolah River each day and this is projected to increase to around 75,000 in 2041.

“Whichever party is elected to govern Queensland cannot afford to sit back and not fund this critical piece of infrastructure.

“A funding commitment from all parties is essential.”

Mayor Jamieson acknowledged and welcomed the many smaller funding commitments made by candidates across the region.

“I look forward to working with whichever party is elected to govern this State and the candidates elected to local seats,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“To achieve the best results for the Sunshine Coast, it will be essential that elected members work for the betterment of the region rather than taking a myopic approach which can lead to cross purposes. 

“After all, our residents live, work and play in different locations across our Sunshine Coast, so any win for one seat is a win for all our residents.”

 

Funding requirement

Australian Labor Party

Liberal National Party

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

Greens

North Coast Rail Duplication

Business case completed by Business Queensland. Currently being assessed by Infrastructure Australia

$300 million subject to Federal Government funding

$850 million Beerburrum to Nambour

Heavy rail duplication to Nambour will be assessed on merits in competition with requests from other regions under the $10bn Infrastructure Bank program.

Sunshine Coast Light Rail public transport project

 

 

Supportive of business case

Supportive of construction starting on CAMCOS rail link and light rail service to link Maroochydore and Caloundra via Kawana.

Mooloolah River Interchange/Sunshine Coast Hospital Link Road

 

$215 million subject to Federal Government funding

$440 million

Supportive of conditionally refunding the Mooloolah River Interchange with environmental recommendations from SCEC observed.

Sunshine Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

 

 

$100 million

Supportive but would compete with other arts and leisure projects. No funding specifically allocated.

University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium Expansion

$7m fully committed (not election promise)

 

$8 million

Supportive but would compete with other arts and leisure projects. No funding specifically allocated.

International Broadband Submarine Cable

$15 million

Supportive but no funding

$15 million

No specific allocation for this project. Would require further consultation with stakeholders prior to making a commitment.