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Media Release – Labor’s infrastructure plan disappointing for Sunshine Coast (14 March 2016)

Joint Media Release  – Andrew Powell, Mark McArdle, Jarrod Bleijie, Steve Dickson, Fiona Simpson and Glen Elmes


The Palaszczuk Labor Government is attempting to pull the wool over Sunshine Coast residents’ eyes in the newly released infrastructure ‘plan’ which fails to deliver on key regional projects.

Sunshine Coast MPs Fiona Simpson, Jarrod Bleijie, Mark McArdle, Andrew Powell, Steve Dickson and Glen Elmes condemned Labor’s plan which cut spending compared to the LNP’s plan by more than a billion a year and failed to provide funding for critical infrastructure for the fast-growing region.

In a joint statement issued today the Sunshine Coast MPs said the glossy plan was made up of sweeping statements which lacked any real substance, with less money being spent on infrastructure across the state than was planned under LNP.

“The announcements around the Infrastructure Plan suggested that the long-overdue North Coast Rail Duplication and much-needed Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital road network are on Labor’s agenda – but this is false,” said Coast MP Andrew Powell.

“Instead of committing to duplicate the single-track through the Sunshine Coast, the plan refers to the North Coast Corridor Improvement Study which is a program of bridge replacements, passing loops and minor improvements to the entire North Coast line – with almost all the works being north of Maryborough.”

“At the 2015 election, the LNP promised $532 million to duplicate the line from Beerburrum to Landsborough. The Palaszczuk Government tricked voters in to thinking they too could deliver this without leasing assets, raising taxes or cutting services. This plan shows how much they deceived Queenslanders.”

“With regards to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital – the plan refers only to upgrades to the Kawana Way and Nicklin Way intersections to tackle congestion and completely ignores the critical improvements to the Mooloolah River Interchange to improve safety and unlock the bottleneck on the Sunshine Motorway,” said Fiona Simpson.

“Going into the 2015 election, the LNP committed $400 million toward the Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade for the Sunshine Coast,” said Jarrod Bleijie.

“One of the first acts of the Palaszczuk Government was to immediately axe this project and both the Premier and her Minister have failed to provide an alternate plan.

“It’s shameful the Palaszczuk Labor Government has completely wiped this project off their agenda.”

“Without the LNP’s proposed upgrades to the Sunshine Coast road network, motorists will continue to experience crippling congestion along Nicklin Way, Kawana Way and the Sunshine Motorway.

“This project would have been a catalyst for job creation on the Coast as well as delivering upon the critical road infrastructure we need to support the continued growth of the region.”

Now that the Sunshine Coast University Hospital will be delayed for some six months, this Government must act now to ensure the road infrastructure is completed before the Hospital opens to improve safety, efficiency and road capacity by delivering the Mooloolah River Interchange project,” said Steve Dickson.

“With massive population increases due in the Caloundra region we will see more and more congestion on our road and rail systems. Caloundra Road congestion can only get worse. The short sightedness of the Palaszczuk Government will ensure this is a certainty. The LNP proposed road and rail works and now this decision by the ALP has doomed the Sunshine Coast,” Mr McArdle said.

“It is well and truly time the Sunshine Coast Region got its fair share of infrastructure planning and in Noosa, the urgent priority is what is known as the Beckmans Road duplication/Tewantin Bypass.  The total cost is estimated to be in the region of $60 million, probably to be done in three stages over a period of time.  The urgent first stage that needs to be fast tracked would be near the Noosaville State School,” said Glen Elmes.

[ENDS] 14 March 2016

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