The Sunshine Coast is the big winner in this year’s Federal Budget with more than $1.68billion in new money for the Bruce Highway:
- $880 million for upgrades to the Bruce Highway between Pine River and Caloundra
- $800 million for upgrades to Cooroy-Curra (Section D) of the Bruce Highway
“There’s a definite light at the end of the tunnel for commuters who for too long have been held back by the Bruce Highway ‘carpark’ between the Coast and Brisbane,” said Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien.
“The $880 million announcement in the 2018 Federal Budget to upgrade the Bruce between the Sunshine Coast and Pine Rivers comes on top of the $530 million commitment secured in last year’s budget.
“Works will include safety upgrades, flood mitigation and importantly 6-laning of the 36 kilometre stretch between the Bribie Island Road and Caloundra Road interchanges. That would mean three north bound lanes and three south bound lanes all the way from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast,” Mr O’Brien said.
“What we need now is for the State Government to finalise the planning study for the Caboolture to Caloundra stretch and commit to its 20 per cent funding contribution so we can get on with the job of widening the Bruce.
“Having a six lane Bruce Highway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast will increase our competitiveness with the Gold Coast for the Brisbane’s drive-tourism market.
“It will ease the congestion pain workers commuting to Brisbane face every day, giving them more leisure time here on the Coast with their families.
“For local businesses, improved travel times will make product distribution quicker and easier allowing them to expand into other markets, grow their businesses and employ more staff.
“But above all these improvements, both north and south, are about saving lives. Reducing road trauma and ending fatality and casualty crashes on the Bruce Highway.
The budget announcements come on top of the already underway Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway upgrade costing the Federal Government $743.3 million and the Maroochydore Road Interchange at a further $149.6 million.
“We now have more than $3.1 billion in federal money committed to Bruce Highway upgrade works from the Sunshine Coast south to Pine Rivers and the Sunshine Coast north to Curra. That is an unprecedented amount of Federal Government money and the Sunshine Coast is the clear winner,” Mr O’Brien said.