The Sunshine Coast appears to have been left waiting at the station for a fully-funded rail upgrade to Brisbane despite claims of a major new funding announcement.
The Sunshine Coast appears to have been left waiting at the station for a fully-funded rail upgrade to Brisbane despite claims of a major new funding announcement.

Coast rail left at station with funding rehash

THE Gold Coast has received funding for stage three of its light rail roll out while the Sunshine Coast's aspirations for heavy rail duplication to Brisbane have been left hanging in the latest $1.9 billion infrastructure deal between the Federal and State governments.

The Beerburrum to Nambour upgrade has received a boost, but only through the bringing forward of $92 million in already committed federal funding.

A spokesman for Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said negotiations between the two governments had been ongoing since before the last federal budget but had failed to secure additional money.

Queensland signed off on the Federal Government's long-heralded inland rail project but failed to secure an 80:20 split funding split for the Sunshine Coast proposal in line with that applied to the Bruce Highway.

The spokesman said the State Government had pushed for more money for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail connection, but the Morrison Government didn't come to the party.

He said Transport and Main Roads had already done planning work and $92 million in federal money would be made available sooner.

There has also been $113 million brought forward for Bruce Highway Pine Rivers to Caloundra corridor funding.

Sunshine Coast federal members Andrew Wallace (Fisher) and Ted O'Brien (Fairfax) have called an 11am press conference at Landsborough Rail Station stating, "the long-awaited duplication of the North Coast Rail line between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane will take a significant step forward following a major new funding announcement".

Questions have been put to the Member for Fisher asking whether any new money was involved beyond that previously announced and when it would be made available.

The State Government has previously committed $160 million to the project and the federal government $390 towards a project whose estimated cost was $780 million.

The State Government said it would spend $49m on the project this financial year and had already purchased 78 of 150 properties that would be affected by the realignment and upgrade.



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