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Powell Media Release – LNP connects with Sunshine Coast commuters (6 May 2011)


THE LNP connected with Sunshine Coast rail commuters this morning to hear first-hand concerns with service schedules and higher fares, particularly for periodic tickets.

LNP Shadow Transport Minister Scott Emerson joined Member for Glass House Andrew Powell and Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle at Landsborough station at 6:15am to meet and listen to commuters.

Mr Emerson and Mr Powell then caught the 6:54am to Central, arriving 8:16am.

“It was a great opportunity to meet local commuters and hear firsthand how the Bligh government’s timetable changes and inflexible ticketing arrangements were about to affect everyone,” Mr Emerson said.

“I enjoyed the trip, but commuters aren’t happy with timetable changes that will add at least 10 minutes to travel times to and from Nambour to Central, from June 6, right in the middle of winter.

“Commuters to Brisbane from the Sunshine Coast have seen their annual transport bill jump from $3224.60 (based on a 12-month ticket) to $5803.20 this year, and by 2014 they’ll be paying $8834.80 to commute from zone 16 – nearly three times that of five years ago.”

Mr Powell, who’s been working on a compromise solution since last November, said it was time the Bligh government listened to commuters.

“The previous Transport Minister Rachel Nolan was a disaster. She refused to attend public forums effectively telling Sunshine Coast commuters she wasn’t interested.

“We need to get the message through to new Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk that the people of the Sunshine Coast do matter and that they deserve a fair go, not just with more reasonable timetables, but also with lower-cost periodic tickets.

“The State Labor government needs to stop treating the people of the Sunshine Coast as second-class citizens.

“The existing rail services for commuters are over-crowded and unless some commonsense prevails, commuting trips are going to be longer and more expensive for daily commuters with the government axing periodic tickets which provided a discount of about 15 per cent.”

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