Transport paper puts Coast vision on track
  • Monday 11 October 2010

A Sunshine Coast Council response to the State Government's integrated transport vision for the next 20 years will seek to amend its Brisbane-centric view of the Coast as a dormitory suburb for the capital city.

Integrated Transport Portfolio holder Councillor Vivien Griffin said that the goal of the council was for economic self-containment for the region, and it was essential that future transport planning reflected this direction.

"The draft strategy, Connecting 2031, is an important initiative from the State Government which we definitely welcome," Cr Griffin said.

"However, one of the problems with the document is that it has a great vision in terms of modal shift but it is light on the detail as to how this will be achieved.

"SEQ 2031 sets great targets on shift to public and active transport yet it is silent on how to achieve them.

"We need to see an Action Plan, included as part of the strategy, that outlines roles and responsibilities of the various state agencies (and others) as well as the projected delivery timelines. Otherwise the risk is that we have a report with a great vision but no on-the-ground delivery.

"Transformation to a sustainable transport culture takes time to evolve, and Sunshine Coast Council is already on this journey with its proposed Sustainable Transport Strategy, and on-the ground successes with walking and cycling pathways and innovative public transport levy funding new services in the region to meet our particular needs.

Cr Griffin said that there is a definite need in Connecting 2031 to highlight the ways by which modal shift can be achieved.

“Sunshine Coast Council is the only council which has a dedicated TravelSmart unit to implement travel behaviour change," she said.

"For example, we are working with schools to achieve a greater take-up of walking and cycling to school, and seeing great results through that partnership with our communities."

Cr Griffin said that a major obstacle to growing public transport usage was the lack of a 10-year Translink network plan, and this needed to be developed as a matter of urgency.

"We are focussed on building a positive and collaborative relationship with Translink to achieve outstanding public transport services on the Sunshine Coast. At the moment they can only plan for the very short term, and that makes it impossible for either the council or Translink to do the planning for public transport improvements that needs to be done.

She said the continued delay in the release of the next TransLink Network Plan affects the credibility of Connecting SEQ 2031 and is undermining support for initiatives.

"The delay in developing and releasing any longer term local public transport planning has hampered the negotiation of Infrastructure Agreements and development of supporting strategies at a local/regional scale.

"There is a failure in that the Plan makes no reference at all to an important element being the primary public transport implementation plan, the TransLink Network Plan."

The submission will be put to the full council for endorsement at its Ordinary Meeting next Wednesday (17 November).