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Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has pledged $300 million towards the delivery of the Sunshine Coast rail duplication, should the LNP win this month’s state election.
Speaking from Landsborough, within the seat of Caloundra, Mr Nicholls said it was time to make the long-overdue Sunshine Coast rail duplication between Beerburrum and Nambour a reality.
“Sadly, Annastacia Palaszczuk has been more interested in picking fights with the federal government than delivering real outcomes for Queenslanders,” he said.
“Our $300 million commitment means more frequent and reliant train services for Sunny Coast locals.”
The LNP will also need funding from the federal government’s $10 billion National Rail Program to deliver the project.
The existing 40-kilometre line between Beerburrum and Nambour is a single rail track.
The $300 million pledged by the LNP would only fund half the first stage of the two-stage project and would require a matched contribution from the Commonwealth.
Stage one is the 16-kilometre stretch from Beerburrum to Landsborough, which has already had its corridor cleared.
The rail duplication would deliver 150 train services on the Sunshine Coast line, reducing travel time between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Dputy LNP leader and opposition infrastructure spokeswoman Deb Frecklington said building the project would create 1800 local jobs.
“The LNP’s Sunny Coast team has been fighting for the rail duplication and we are proud to be able to finally deliver it for them,” she said.
The second stage of the project from Landsborough to Nambour still requires funding as well as design, planning and land acquisitions.
Public transport advocate Robert Dow, of Rail Back on Track, said he welcomed the commitment.
“The upgrade is many years overdue and will enhance passenger and rail freight services,” he said.
“...It is important that with the further stages and improvements north of Landsborough that these be on the new alignment rather than just passing loops on the present 19th century track alignment.”
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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