Southern Sunshine Coast public transport expansion on track
Published Wednesday, 16 February, 2022 at 12:30 PM
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey
Community feedback is sought on a new public transport strategy that will set the future direction for improved connectivity and accessibility across the Sunshine Coast.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today released the draft Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy that contains the vision for future public transport options in the region.
“The Sunshine Coast is Queensland’s third biggest city and as the region’s population continues to grow, so to does the need for an efficient and well connected public transport network,” Mr Bailey said.
“The draft South East Queensland Regional Transport Plan and ShapingSEQ strategy both outlined the specific needs of the Southern Sunshine Coast community, which this strategy directly responds to.
“What we now have is a blueprint for short, medium and long-term transport developments in the region – whether that be bus corridors, heavy rail or multi-modal connections.
“Public transport will be developed around key corridors and connections to complement the southern Sunshine Coast’s character as well as keep people moving to and through the area."
The majority of the Sunshine Coast’s 320,000 residents live between Maroochydore and Beerwah, and an additional 190,000 are expected to call the region home over the next 20 years.
“It has never been more important to get transport planning right,” Mr Bailey said.
He said the plan would simplify Sunshine Coast services by building up four key corridors:
- Coastal: new mass transit service between Caloundra and Maroochydore providing a reliable and direct high-capacity public transport connection for shorter trips on the coast.
- Centre: a link via the protected Caloundra and Maroochydore Corridor Options Study (CAMCOS) that provides for longer distance trips on the coast and to the rest of South East Queensland.
- Western: upgraded infrastructure along the existing North Coast rail line.
- Key connectors: new and upgraded east-west bus connections, more dedicated bus priority and high frequency routes and local services that spread the benefits of mass transit.
Mr Bailey said an important part in delivering the strategy successfully would be partnering with the Sunshine Coast Council.
“Ensuring that all levels of government are committed to a unified vision for public transport in the future is essential to delivering the best outcomes for locals,” he said.
“As part of our partnership, the Palaszczuk Government have commenced a $15 million, jointly funded detailed business case for the first stage of Sunshine Coast Mass Transit.
“Work is also underway to investigate a heavy rail connection from Beerwah to Maroochydore as part of the CAMCOS corridor and design is underway for the $320 million Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the State Government’s new draft public transport strategy for the southern area of the Sunshine Coast and strongly encouraged all residents to have their say.
“Public transport connectivity is critical to the functionality and economic prosperity and liveability of our Sunshine Coast and south east Queensland, now and into the future, especially in providing for a viable alternative to private car travel,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“I encourage everyone to provide feedback on the draft Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy.
“Sunshine Coast Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy also provides a blueprint for an integrated, safe, efficient and sustainable transport system.
“When it comes to transport, each level of government, working in partnership for our community, is also critical.”
Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said engaging with the community on the draft strategy would be essential.
“I know my community, and Sunshine Coast residents more broadly, are passionate about their area and the infrastructure they need to get from a to b using public transport.
“That’s why we will be consulting with the community, and I encourage the community to jump online and have their say so we can better understand local needs.
“There’s never been a more important time to be engaged and help shape the future of our city’s public transport network.
“Things are moving, but this plan wraps it all together and shows how all elements will work together for the Coast, and support the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“It will take a mix of options: heavy rail, local mass transit, new stops stations, park 'n' rides, bus priority, better links to Brisbane and more efficient corridors.
"This includes more routes with peak services every 15 minutes or better.
"This plan shows at a high level how all the transport pieces fit together. Detailed business cases, transport modes, costs and timelines will be developed after informed community feedback."
For more information and to have your say on the plan, go to https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/southernsunshinecoastpt
For more information on the Queensland Government's South East Queensland Regional Transport Plan, ShapingSEQ and the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) 2021-22 to 2024-25, visit https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/About-us/Corporate-information/Publications
Media Contact: Courtney Thompson - 0433 585 570