- Wednesday 22 April 2009
The Sunshine Coast Council today voted unanimously to introduce a $20 public transport levy in a significant step towards tackling congestion on the region’s roads.
Mayor Bob Abbot said the move was a key element in Council’s strategy to make the Sunshine Coast Australia’s most sustainable region.
Cr Abbot said Council’s aim was to ensure all Sunshine Coast residents could access affordable, quality public transport that offered a genuine alternative to the private car.
“This initiative is essential for preserving our quality of life on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
“If we don’t move on public transport now, we’ll be facing traffic gridlock in many areas in the very near future.
“Building more and more roads is not the answer and introducing this levy proves that Council is prepared to take the tough decisions to achieve the right outcomes.”
Council’s transport portfolio spokesperson, Cr Vivien Griffin, said a dedicated levy would ensure the funds did not disappear into general revenue and would be directed towards specific public transport projects.
Cr Griffin said the shopping list for vital public transport initiatives for the Sunshine Coast was enormous.
“It includes $297 million for the CoastConnect priority bus corridor project, and more than $3 billion each for the CAMCOS rapid transit project from Beerwah to Maroochydore and the Multi Modal corridor from Creekside to Maroochydore.
“Another key project will be the $200 million east-west greenlink from Palmview to Kawana, where the Kawana University Hospital will be opening in 2014.”
Cr Griffin said Maroochydore, Kawana Town Centre and the Kawana Hospital were all crucial links in the region’s economic development goals for the future.
She said in addition, many of the hospital’s employees were likely to call Palmview home.
“It is a big ask to expect the State Government to fund all these projects, but they are all needed, and needed within the next five years,” Cr Griffin said.
“I know the introduction of the levy will send a strong message to the State Government that this Council is serious about public transport, and we will be looking to be a responsible partner with them in delivering these major projects.”
Cr Griffin said as well as the immediate big ticket items there was also an urgent need to improve hinterland connections to the coast, and generally improve the quality of existing services.