Despite largess for football matches, the Queensland State Government spends $4000 less per head of population on infrastructure than New South Wales and Victoria which means the infrastructure deficit hits our growing State and this region hard.
The Sunshine Coast needs real commitment from the Queensland State Government and with the budget being handed down next Tuesday it is important that the Sunshine Coast gets its fair share on the right projects.
I am calling on the State Government to invest in critical infrastructure and services that the Sunshine Coast needs to support liveability and local jobs.
We need to make sure that the Coast has a planned infrastructure commitment, so the area isn’t continually playing catch up.
My budget wishlist includes:
- For the Mooloolah River Interchange to start with the State Government matching the $160m Federal grant on the table to upgrade the Sunshine Motorway, cut congestion, and better link to the hospital.
- Police resources – More police resources to help keep our community safe
- Maroochydore High School – new buildings – this is one of the top performing schools in the state but it has buildings that are crumbling around them. It is time that the State Government provides them with new buildings to provide the right learning facilities for our students rather than just patch ups.
- Upgrading Sunshine Motorway north of Pacific Paradise to Coolum
- Integrated Transport Plan that sets out timeframes for building heavy rail into Maroochydore along the preserved CAMCOS corridor and modernises the bus fleet to cleaner, greener buses with an overhaul of bus timetables and services to better connect people throughout the Sunshine Coast.
- Mooloolaba to Maroochydore Cycleway – listen to the public and keep the funding previously committed to safely improve pathways while ensuring public space is enhanced and protected without a barrier to the beach.
- Hospital Funding – stop the $89m cuts to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, increase funding and open more beds to stop the current ambulance ramping and waiting time for health services.
- Build-to-rent projects – unlock affordable housing by incentivising “build to rent” programs that attract private and public investment into the rental market to address housing shortages and the vacancy rates of less than 1%…. – I would urge the State Government to work with councils to help attract investment to bring more homes to the market, particularly for renters. We are lagging behind the other states and our population is increasing, it is time for the state to act on the problem.
- Sunshine Coast Entertainment Convention and Exhibition Centre – this centre will create jobs as well as enhance our region’s liveability. It’s time for a commitment from the State Government to start a first stage which can expand in the future, and work with the private sector and Federal Government to leverage funding opportunities.
I am eagerly waiting on the budget next week to see what it holds for the Sunshine Coast, we live in a key part of South-East Queensland, are an employment hub with high growth and this needs to be remembered if the State Government are a Government for all of Queensland.