The rail link to Maroochydore, connecting the Sunshine Coast’s largest city to the SEQ rail network in time for the 2032 Olympics is at grave risk due to delay tactics by this State Government.
State MP for Maroochydore, Fiona Simpson MP, is calling on the State Government to release a whole-of-project timeline for the Maroochydore Rail project and a commitment to match the $1.6b committed by the Federal Government.
Speaking in Parliament she said: “All we have heard in the Budget was a name change and another planning study – not a commitment.
“Worse? Without a timeline outlining how the rail can be built to Maroochydore before the Olympics, these are delay and distract tactics to put off making a decision until it’s potentially too late.
“Rail to Maroochydore is necessary to match population growth, regardless of the Olympics, to get people off our roads as a centre piece to a modern integrated public transport network, with game-changing public transport at the same time. However, the Olympics is the opportunity to connect SEQ properly to a modern public transport system that can also achieve mode shift and get people off the Bruce Highway.
“The State Government has recently announced a name change from Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study (also known as CAMCOS) to Direct Sunshine Coast Line Planning Study, but it gives no commitment to funding or the timing pipeline of works that are necessary delivery the work.
“I would also like to know who advised the Minister to rename the Maroochydore Rail as “Direct Line to the Sunshine Coast”? Whoever it was must think the Sunshine Coast is only east of the Bruce Highway and they have forgotten that the Sunshine Coast is also Beerwah to Nambour and up the Range and has been for more than 50 years since our region name was changed from Near North Coast.”
Ms Simpson has again in Parliament this week been asking for more details on the project and for the timeline to hit critical deadlines.
The government can do their studies that will build on previous work, but it is time for commitment from the State Government to actually build and deliver the rail corridor from Beerwah to Maroochydore in time for the 2032 Olympics.
Ms Simpson said the current planning study lacks any detail and once again any real planning to get started.
“Along with my Federal Colleagues, I am concerned that the State Government’s inaction will lose the $1.6B committed in the budget by previous Federal Government.
“We need to see the full timeline of the rail to Maroochydore and not a drip feed of vague announcements and no deadlines or commitments.”