The Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to day announced the much requested Sunshine Coast rail duplication along with 150 additional services as a consequence.
The funding for the duplication would be dependent upon funds from successful asset leasing under the Strong Choices plan.
Completion of rail duplication is scheduled for 2019.
The full announcement reads:
Sunshine Coast passengers will spend less time travelling on trains and more time with their families under the LNP’s plan to reverse Labor’s broken promise and start work to duplicate the Sunshine Coast train line.
Premier Campbell Newman said under the LNP’s Strong Choices plan, the $532 million project will be delivered as part of the commitment for Public Transport Rail Infrastructure.
“We have a strong plan to improve frequency, reliability, safety and affordability of the public transport network and also deliver economic benefits for Queensland families,” Mr Newman said.
“Already our strong team has delivered 3000 additional weekly bus and train services, and slashed transport fares by five per cent saving families money. Trains are running on-time 96 per cent of the time, but there’s more to do.
“The upgrade will provide more than 150 extra weekly services, improved transport reliability for more than 330,000 residents from the Sunshine Coast and create more than 3000 new jobs during construction.
“We need a strong future-oriented transport system to support a strong economy. You cannot create jobs without a strong economy. You cannot create a strong economy without a strong plan. You cannot stick to a strong plan without a strong and stable government.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said this project would put an end to a huge bottleneck on the single track line that restricted freight movement and frustrated passengers.
“While we are committed to funding this project under our Strong Choices plan, the former Labor government broke their promise to duplicate the Sunshine Coast line in 2009, at the same time they were hiking up fares by 15 per cent,” Mr Emerson said.
“If the Newman LNP Government is re-elected, we’ll get on with the job.
“We can only deliver the rail line duplication because of our strong economic management, and our work to fix the state’s finances through our Strong Choices plan that will reduce debt and invest in job-creating infrastructure like this project.”
Mr Newman said Labor had no plan to tackle the massive debt they left Queensland and broke their promise to fix serious capacity issues on the Sunshine Coast line.
“Only the LNP has a strong team with a strong plan to secure Queensland’s financial future and invest in the next wave of job-creating infrastructure,” he said.
Confirming earlier newspaper reports the Premier had this to say on breakfast radio.
The formal announcement was made at Lanesborough railway station.
— Campbell Newman (@theqldpremier) January 13, 2015
It’s being reported that the work will commence immediately and that less than thirty (30) would be affected.
— ABC News 24 (@ABCNews24) January 13, 2015