- Tuesday 09 August 2011
The clear message from the Rapid Transit workshop held by the Sunshine Coast Council this week is that rapid transit brings significant economic development opportunities.
Council staff and councillors were briefed on the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project. Integrated Transport Portfolio Councillor Vivien Griffin said that the Gold Coast representatives were very emphatic that their light rail project will be a city building project, with long-term economic and financial benefits for the region.
"However, they also emphasised that you need to put skin in the game to be in the game," Cr Griffin said.
"That means that the Gold Coast Council accepted they needed to contribute significant funding to make the project happen.
"Gold Coast Council contributed $120M towards a region-building light rail from Southport to Broadbeach, and as a consequence were in the right place at the right time to access a further $830M of State and Federal funding.
"They had done the hard yards getting the vision for the project, and building a coalition with the business community to get the right fit for their needs.
"In order to build this support it is important to have a strong business case built around an understanding of the problem and the impacts of 'do nothing'.
"It is now time that the Sunshine Coast Council took control of its own rapid transit destiny. For too long the CAMCOS, Multi Modal Transport Corridor and Coast Connect bus priority projects have languished on the back burner of the State Government funding priorities.
"This is a key economic development responsibility for council – that is how we show leadership for the region. I believe the next step is to establish a Task Force of progressive business-minded people to drive this project forward on the Sunshine Coast, and I will be seeking council’s agreement to do just that."