Time to bring Sunshine Coast’s rail out of the dark ages

12 / Jun / 2017 | News

Funding for the Sunshine Coast’s outdated and overloaded North Coast Rail Line should be a priority in tomorrow’s State Budget announcement, according to South East Queensland’s (SEQ) Mayors.

The duplication and upgrade of the North Coast Rail Line has been on the political agenda for many years but has failed to receive the investment needed to progress the project, despite being recommended by the State’s independent infrastructure adviser Building Queensland.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair Cr Graham Quirk said upgrading the North Coast Rail Line isn’t just an important project for the Sunshine Coast, it had the potential to deliver a significant boost to the region’s economy.

The duplication and upgrade of the North Coast Rail Line will ease congestion on the Bruce Highway and significantly improve travel times for residents and businesses commuting from the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay region and the northern suburbs of Brisbane.”

“A fast and reliable North Coast Rail Line would be an economic driver for the region, improving freight movement, encouraging local tourism, and allowing more people to live on the Sunshine Coast and easily commute to other parts of SEQ,” said Cr Quirk.

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) will also be looking for a significant allocation of funds for its other infrastructure priorities, upgrades to the Pacific Motorway and Mt Lindesay Highway, in the 2017-18 State Budget announcement.

“Mayors will be watching closely to ensure the Queensland Government’s commitment to fix the Pacific Motorway is fully funded, and we’re also keen to see a significant investment in improving the safety and efficiency of the Mt Lindesay Highway,” said Cr Quirk.”

“The Mt Lindesay Highway is a crucial transport route for SEQ and Queensland, facilitating freight movement in the south western corridor and supporting the growing communities of Logan and the Scenic Rim.

“Quick fixes and ad hoc upgrades are not meeting the needs of SEQ’s growing communities, the Mt Lindesay Highway needs a significant injection of funds from the Queensland Government to deliver a genuine long term solution,” said Cr Quirk.

Other budget priorities for the SEQ Mayors include a financial commitment to advance the Resilient Rivers Initiative. The SEQ Mayors have partnered with the Local Government Association of Queensland in calling for much needed funds to improve the region’s climate resilience and protect SEQ’s waterways and catchments.