- Friday 01 August 2014
Sunshine Coast residents are being asked to get behind and support the five region-making projects being nominated by Council under the State Government’s Strong Choices Investment Program.
Acting Mayor Chris Thompson said the program had provided the Sunshine Coast region with a rare opportunity to get State funding for much needed infrastructure investment.
“The Sunshine Coast will be competing with every region across Queensland to get a share of the $8.6 billion which will be made available if asset sales go ahead in this State,” Cr Thompson said.
“Now is the opportunity for us all to pull together and if we are successful, secure some of the major infrastructure that is needed for our community now and into the future”.
“That’s why it’s so important for the people of this region to speak with one voice.
“To be heard, we need to provide a clear and consistent message about what we need the State to invest in.”
Through its discussions with community and elected representatives and its own regional planning processes, Council has identified five significant projects which would make the biggest difference to the future of this region.
- The duplication and upgrade of the North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Nambour.
- The inclusion of the upgrade of the Bruce Highway to six lanes from Caboolture to the Sunshine Coast over the next decade in the Bruce Highway Action Plan.
- Upgrades to the Sunshine Coast Motorway and Nicklin Way interchange and the Mooloolah River Crossing.
- Sunshine Coast high quality bus corridor providing a priority bus spine from Caloundra to Maroochydore with links to key northern and rural centres.
- A funding contribution towards delivering the entertainment, convention and exhibition centre in the Maroochydore Priority Development Area.
“Every project has the potential to create jobs, boost our economy and make this region an even better place to live,” Cr Thompson said.
“The region is home to more than 280,000 residents and more than 35,000 registered businesses and is predicted to grow to more than 450,000 people by 2031.
“This places enormous pressure on existing facilities and services as the region seeks to keep pace with the needs of the population.
“We need to provide the infrastructure that will build strength into the economy and support our community as it grows, encourage investment and generate enduring employment opportunities for our residents.
“Council is asking all residents to send a message to the State Government to support these projects as the region’s priorities.”
To provide your support for these regional projects, visit: www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
WHY THESE PROJECTS ARE IMPORTANT TO THE REGION:
- The duplication and upgrade of the North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Nambour. The rail duplication will dramatically improve the state’s freight paths for goods, agricultural and mineral resources, improve public transport efficiency and promote the State’s economic growth – with the Queensland Government’s EIS for the project suggesting a State economic benefit of $4.57 billion over the period of construction. Locally, the North Coast rail line duplication will support existing businesses and create opportunities for new ones – particularly in the railway towns and hinterland areas. It would also improve the passenger train service and ease some of the pressure on the Bruce Highway. The project is estimated to create 2786 jobs at any one point in time over the 7 year construction period. This project has been identified as a priority in state and federal government planning and policy documents for years – now is the time to make it happen. Fund: Public Transport Rail Infrastructure Fund
- The inclusion of the upgrade of the Bruce Highway to six lanes from Caboolture to the Sunshine Coast over the next decade in the Bruce Highway Action Plan. This project is essential if the Sunshine Coast is to grow its economy. The current bottlenecks are putting a handbrake on the region’s growth, especially in tourism and the region’s ability to move exports to the Port of Brisbane. The inclusion of this project in the Bruce Highway Action Plan for delivery over the next decade will enable the regional economy to build its exports, encourage new business investment, generate new employment opportunities, dramatically improve tourism access to the region and improve the safety and reliability of this part of the National Highway. Fund: South East Queensland Roads Fund
- Upgrades to the Sunshine Coast Motorway and Nicklin Way interchange and the Mooloolah River Crossing. This part of the State-controlled road network is a vital linkage point in the urban coastal area – serving as a pivotal connection point to the major centres and key service points, such as the Sunshine Coast University Hospital complex, the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Maroochydore City Centre, the Sunshine Coast Airport and Bruce Highway and Hinterland areas. This central piece of the road network is already at capacity and is experiencing major traffic flow and safety issues. As the region continues to grow, providing access to the Sunshine Coast's major commercial, residential, educational, health and community developments is critical to connecting people with employment, attracting new investment and enabling the community to access vital services. Fund: South East Queensland Roads Fund
- Sunshine Coast High Quality Bus Corridor providing a priority bus spine from Caloundra to Maroochydore with links to key northern and rural centres. As the Sunshine Coast grows (its population is expected to increase by more than 150,000 people over the next 20 years) public transport will become increasingly important to connect people to new employment and essential services and support investment in a growing economy. Formerly known as Coast Connect, this project will provide a crucial public transport spine linking the major commercial centres and areas where much of the commercial and residential growth is planned to occur over the next 20 years. The development of a bus corridor spine is a pivotal part of that future and will help to ease congestion on roads and could be delivered earlier than other potential public transport solutions between major centres. Fund: South East Queensland Roads Fund
- A funding contribution towards delivering an entertainment, convention and exhibition centre in the Maroochydore Priority Development Area. This development be delivered by the private sector as part of a joint project including a five star hotel as part of the overall development mix. The entertainment, convention and exhibition centre project has widespread community and industry support. It will provide the opportunity to significantly grow the region’s tourism offer and deliver major economic flow on benefits to other industry sectors. This facility will provide a much needed venue for local and international acts, exhibitions, conferences and delegations. It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars (directly and indirectly) for the local economy and create over 2000 jobs in the construction and operational phases combined. Other smaller cities in Queensland have benefitted from state contributions for similar projects. This is a vital piece of the economic and community infrastructure mix for a region of this size. Successive studies over the last ten years have demonstrated the need for this project. Fund: Rural and Regional Economic Development Fund or Local Government Co-Investment Fund