Sunshine Coast Labor candidates Jason Hunt (Caloundra) and Brent Hampstead (Glass House) have responded to today’s rail duplication announcement by Premier Campbell Newman acknowledging duplication’s importance, questioning the basis of proposed funding and committing to the duplication when funds become available.
Their response in full reads:
Today Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announced that a re-elected LNP government would recommence the duplication of the Sunshine Coast railway line, contingent on the sale of state assets.
Labor candidate for Caloundra Jason Hunt says, “None of Campbell Newman’s promises that rely on asset sales can be believed because the money for them simply doesn’t exist.
“Every other state government in Australia can build rail links, roads and hospitals without selling public assets,” Mr Hunt continued. “Every state government that is except Mr Newman and the LNP”
Labor candidate for Glass House Brent Hampstead went on to say “The duplication of the Sunshine Coast railway line from Caboolture to Landsborough commenced construction under the previous Labor government and progressed as far as Beerburrum but was put on hold due to the financial impacts of the Global Financial Crisis. The intention was always to complete this much-needed project when funds were once again available. This intention is evidenced by the construction of the Beerwah rail overpass, built specifically to accommodate dual rail lines and easing what had been a horribly choked traffic bottleneck each time a train arrived at Beerwah station.
“The Newman government on the other hand, has made absolutely no move whatsoever to recommence work on the rail duplication during their three years in government,” Mr Hampstead continued.
“Now, in an effort to save the skin of their extraordinarily unpopular leader, the LNP announce they will fund our Sunshine Coast rail duplication but only if they can find a buyer for our state-owned electricity network and ports.
“In a media interview last week Campbell Newman admitted the sale of our power assets are on shaky ground and may not proceed, so how can the people of the Sunshine Coast trust him to follow through on the rail project?
“Jason Hunt and I will fight to have the Sunshine Coast rail duplication put back on Labor’s infrastructure agenda, to ensure this vital project is allocated proper, solid funding, when the funds become available.”