The Sunshine Coast is one step closer to getting a light rail public transport service after Sunshine Coast Council gave the green light for a business case to be developed.
That was one of the key recommendations of the pre-feasibility report which council has now approved – the Mayor Mark Jamieson said it’s an important day for the region.
“We want to become the most sustainable region in Australia – light rail could help us to get to that destination,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Light rail will deliver benefits to the region for 100 years by:
- encouraging new forms of urban development,
- reducing reliance on car travel, and
- creating almost 9000 jobs during construction and operation.
“Our decision to proceed with a business case could see the first stage of a light rail service in the corridor between Caloundra and Maroochydore established as soon as 2020,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This new form of public transport aligns perfectly with council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region, and reflects the aspirations and values of the Community Plan.
“It also allows council to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the region; including population growth, urban sprawl, being connected, congestion and reliance on fossil fuels.
“The Light Rail Project report is aptly titled, ‘A line in the sand’. It clearly sets out the significant economic and social benefits of light rail as a ‘game changer’.”
The pre-feasibility report was developed by the Light Rail Project’s taskforce – a group of government and industry professionals.
Transport Strategy Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski thanked the Taskforce for its advice and insights.
TransLink Deputy Director-General, Neil Scales, welcomed the decision which he sees as an opportunity to build on the already established relationship with Sunshine Coast Council.
“Council is to be congratulated for its forward thinking on integrated public transport and I look forward to working together to deliver for the region,” Mr Scales said.
The business case process will include comprehensive public consultation on routes and options. It will be conducted over the next two years at an estimated cost of $4 million, which includes $500,000 of Commonwealth funding under the Liveable Cities Program.