Local News

Sunshine Coast MPs Ted O’Brien and Andrew Wallace are demanding the Albanese Labor Government honour a $1.6 billion rail commitment in the March Federal Budget next week.

At stake is a new heavy rail line for the Sunshine Coast, connecting the existing line at Beerwah to new stations in Caloundra, Kawana and Maroochydore along the CAMCOS corridor.

The Federal Members for Fairfax and Fisher announced the enormous funding commitment of the former Coalition Government in March following six years of grassroots campaigning and tireless advocacy from the Coast MPs and local community.

Mr O’Brien said that Sunshine Coast residents would be devastated if the Albanese Labor Government failed to honour the rail commitment.

“In the lead up to the election, Labor’s now Infrastructure Minister expressed enthusiasm for this project and Labor’s two local candidates confirmed their support so the Sunshine Coast should expect nothing less than confirmation of this funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

“People just want to see Government get on with the job of building heavy passenger rail to Maroochydore.”            

“The Sunshine Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and will co-host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, so we have no time to waste.”

Mr Wallace called on Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister for Infrastructure Catherine King to back up their words with action.

“Jim Chalmers on a visit to the Sunshine Coast in August said good projects slated for communities like ours, which will deliver an economic benefit for the country and for the community, will go ahead,” Mr Wallace said.

“Catherine King said prior to the election that with the Olympics only 10 years away, there’s no time to waste and that all people are going to care about is if the infrastructure Queenslanders need actually got built on time.

“Well, this is a great project, so let’s get on with it.”   

“We’re on board and we’re not getting off until this project is complete”.

The funding arrangement for the state-controlled project is based on a 50/50 split between the Federal and State Governments.

The $1.6 billion commitment assumed a $3.2 billion cost estimate based on the North Coast connect business case and estimated the project at $2.9 billion with an additional 10% contingency added by the Coalition.

Mark Bailey’s own Queensland Government Transport Department was directly involved in the North Coast Connect Business Case Project.

Regardless of the outcome next week, Mr O’Brien and Mr Wallace said continuous pressure to hold Federal and State Labor to account would be required until the first train pulled into Maroochydore.

The project will cut travel time, reduce road congestion, and make mass transit accessible to Sunshine Coast residents, with reduced travel times between Brisbane the Sunshine Coast and within.

It will open new employment opportunities and labour mobility for a generation of skilled workers and local employers. As many as 9550 direct and indirect jobs are set to be created during construction.

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