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ON JULY 29, the Sunshine Coast Daily published my letter asking for all levels of government to fast track the CAMCOS Railway between Beerwah and Maroochydore.
Not one politician responded. One really has to wonder what it does take to get our local politicians to respond to major issues which is a part of their duty and responsibility.
On August 10, in the Sunshine Coast Daily 50th anniversary of the naming of the Sunshine Coast Souvenir Edition 9, Paul Turner - the RACQ chief communication officer - stated that rail duplication to the Coast was necessary and then followed with: "We then need to connect that heavy rail to the coastal strip and the major population centres such as Caloundra, through Kawana and into the new Maroochydore CBD.”
Over the years, I have been emailing and meeting some of the local politicians stating exactly this.
Mr Turner referred to the widening of the Bruce Highway and the Sunshine Motorway and then continued: "These projects will help but they need to be part of a master plan for people movement in the decades ahead.”
For years, I have had meetings with the Department of Transport under various state governments stating that south-east Queensland needed a master plan for transportation.
Result? Nothing as they obviously do not have the experience for such major projects.
In Queensland, we need freight to be put back on to rail and a dedicated freight rail line built around the west of Brisbane, running from Acacia Ridge to Ipswich then to Kingaroy and back to the northern main rail line at Theebine.
I understand Acacia Ridge to near Ipswich is about to be built. From Ipswich to Theebine, this railway line would use primarily government-owned land, and as it was previously a railway for most of the route (Brisbane Valley line and Kingaroy branch), it would be fairly easy to reinstate.
This rail line would take freight out of the Brisbane metropolitan area rail network and leave more capacity for passenger trains.
Rail duplication past Beerwah or Landsborough would then not be necessary.
Back on the Sunshine Coast, the Mayor said on ABC Radio that there could be another major housing development between Beerwah and the Bruce Highway at Bells Creek and CAMCOS came up in the interview as necessary.
State and Federal government funding should be made available immediately so there can be an immediate start to the CAMCOS line.
This would also be a boost to local employment opportunities.
Immediately, our state politicians should lobby the State Government to make Translink do a new timetable for the current Sunshine Coast line. It is totally unacceptable that nearly every train currently stops at all stations to Petrie and then sometimes all stations between Northgate and the city.
The majority of residents will not travel on trains offering such a poor service.
We want regular trains that go all stations to Caboolture then express to Eagle Junction (for the airport) and then to Bowen Hills and the city. And yes, there is current track capacity.
Unless we force politicians to move at once on the highway and rail connections, then all the Mayor's mass housing developments will fail as no one will buy these houses if there is no proper transportation infrastructure. The Mayor should concentrate on transportation infrastructure and after that on housing developments.
This article first appeared on www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
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