Ted O’Brien’s Column as it appeared in the Sunshine Valley Gazette, January 2018
You may have seen news reports about a bold plan for fast rail from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast called North Coast Connect.
I’m pushing hard for this plan to become a reality together with my federal colleagues in Team Qld – 26 LNP MPs and senators – and we’re also fortunate to have the support of the mayors across South East Qld.
Fast rail would cut travel times between Brisbane and Nambour to 45 minutes, with train speeds of up to 200km/hr (compared to current passenger rail average speeds of 50km/hr).
The North Coast Connect proposal is the only Queensland project shortlisted in the federal government’s Faster Rail Program to fund fast rail in Australia (we don’t actually have any fast rail in this country so imagine being one of the first!)
This is exciting for many reasons and offers an even brighter future to towns in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
A super-fast railway line would help revitalise hinterland communities from Beerburrum all the way to Nambour.
Like the early days when rail first came to the coast, it would encourage people to live in regional communities close to public transport. It also means tourists could enjoy our region without wasting three hours’ travel time.
Fast rail would boost the economy and ease the stresses on people’s lives. Commuters could enjoy more time with their families instead of crawling on roads or idling in slow carriages. Fast rail is the future and while there’s a long way to go yet, we’re doing all we can to make this a reality.