Sunshine Coast Federal MP Andrew Wallace has welcomed the Queensland State Labor Government’s publication of a Public Transport Strategy for the Sunshine Coast but has vowed to continue to fight proposals to introduce Light Rail on our Coastal strip.
“Sunshine Coast locals have been crying out for better public transport for years and I welcome the fact that the Queensland State Government has finally begun to take some notice. Thanks to years of neglect from the Queensland State Government, public transport on the Coast is in a parlous state, and a plan is a small step forward. However, we now need to see this State Government put its money where its mouth is and start living up to its responsibilities to our region.” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Wallace announced his own vision for public transport on the Sunshine Coast in September 2020 on the site of the CAMCOS corridor south of Baringa.
“The truth is that the public transport we need on the Sunshine Coast has long been clear. We need heavy rail from Beerwah, along the CAMCOS corridor through Caloundra and on to Kawana and Maroochydore; and we need that heavy rail to be supported by a significantly expanded, reliable and integrated network of bus services throughout the region. This approach would reduce congestion on the Bruce Highway and on gridlocked local roads like Nicklin Way, Caloundra Road and Kawana Way. It would ensure that our major population centres are better connected, that fewer local residents need to get in their cars, and that the benefits of public transport are distributed throughout our entire community.”
“Heavy rail on the CAMCOS corridor, supported by improved bus services across the Coast, is the best transport plan for our region and it is the vision for public transport in our community which I have long been fighting for.”
The Queensland State Government’s Draft Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy, published yesterday, failed to rule out Light Rail as an option for construction on the Coast despite overwhelming local community opposition.
“Sunshine Coast locals have spoken loud and clear about the Council and State Government’s proposal for light rail from Caloundra to Maroochydore. We don’t want it, and I intend to continue to fight to ensure it does not happen. Light Rail along Nicklin Way and Alexandra Parade would remove one lane each way for cars, making the existing congestion even worse. It would change the character of our community, bringing a wall of higher density residential development along the Coastal strip and it would do nothing for our Hinterland communities who are in desperate need of better public transport.” Mr Wallace said.
“I wrote to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Federal Minister for Regional Infrastructure in April 2021 making my strong opposition to this proposal clear on behalf of our community. I asked that the Commonwealth provide no funding whatsoever for this inappropriate and impractical project and I will continue to make that request for as long as I am the Federal Member for Fisher.”
The Queensland Government’s Draft Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy is available at https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/Draft-Southern-Sunshine-Coast-Public-Transport-Strategy. Sunshine Coast locals can have their say on its proposals by emailing SouthernSunshineCoastPT@tmr.qld.gov.au by 16 March 2022.
More information about Mr Wallace’s proposals for public transport on the Coast can be found at https://andrewwallacemp.com.au/local-news/andrew-wallace-mp-calls-for-federal-funding-for-heavy-rail-along-the-coast/ while more detail concerning his opposition to the Council’s Light Rail project can be found at https://andrewwallacemp.com.au/local-news/sunshine-coast-mp-declares-opposition-to-councils-light-rail-and-urges-local-residents-to-get-involved/.