When the Budget comes down next Tuesday, I want the State Government to keep its promise to be a government for all of Queensland and address the critical infrastructure and services that are needed on the Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast is a great place to live work and raise families at all stages of life. To maintain that we need a number of key projects to go ahead with shovels in the ground, not just planning studies with no deadlines to start.
My budget wish list for the Sunshine Coast is:
- HOSPITAL FUNDING – we need increased funding to open the approx 70 overdue beds at Sunshine Coast University Hospital and to stop the current ambulance ramping and blow-outs in waiting times for elective surgery waitlist and specialist outpatient appointments.
- POLICE RESOURCES – More police resources to help keep our community safe, crime is increasing and the net number of new police is decreasing relative to population.
- MAROOCHYDORE HIGH SCHOOL – funding to fix the dangerous bus turnaround and set down area. I have taken this up with the Minister to advocate for this key safety upgrade to protect students when they arrive and leave school.
- BEERWAH TO MAROOCHYDORE RAIL – It’s time for the State Government to back rail and not block rail to the Coast’s city centre. This is transformative infrastructure we need to connect us to greater SEQ and transform Sunshine Coast public transport. Minister for Transport, Mark Bailey, is the King of Cover-up and it is a disgrace that they have interfered and delayed the business case for the rail to Maroochydore. The Premier must take responsibility and pick up the phone to her Labor mates in Canberra to unfreeze the Federal funding and to commit the State for rail to Maroochydore. This infrastructure will support the growth in population and ensure the Sunshine Coast continues to be an attractive place to live with opportunities.
- MOOLOOLABA TO MAROOCHYDORE CYCLE WAY (M2M) – the State Labor Government promised to maintain $6.7m in funding after we won a re-design of the project in line with community feedback. However, the funding has now disappeared from the 4-year transport plan (QTRIP) contrary to the Minister’s promise. This must be put back in the budget as it’s time they kept their promise to fund it.
- SUNSHINE MOTORWAY –The Mooloolah River Interchange and duplication of the Sunshine Motorway must go ahead with clear start dates.
- HOUSING AFFORDABILITY – The State needs to partner with private sector and community to unlock more rental home supply.
- SUNSHINE COAST ENTERTAINMENT, CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE – this is a much-needed multi-purpose centre to deepen the Coast’s economic base, grow jobs and enhance the region’s lifestyle. Every major region in Queensland has one. The State Government funded a study and now needs to help fund the solution.
- MOOLOOLABA HARBOUR SOLUTION – timely dredging and the right permanent solution for maritime safety and the environment is critical. Deadlines and commitments need to be made public now.
I want to see the budget next week hold great news for the future of the Sunshine Coast and not be overlooked by the State Labor Government. The Sunshine Coast is an integral player in South-East Queensland, and as I keep saying it needs to be remembered that the State Labor Government said they are a ‘Government for all of Queensland’. It’s time to stop the cheap talk, now is the time for the State Government to act.