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25 Feb 2023: Sunshine Coast rail duplication: where has the GO gone?

Started by ozbob, February 25, 2023, 23:21:25 PM

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Sunshine Coast rail duplication: where has the GO gone?

25 February 2023

RAIL Back On Track has long supported rail duplication to Landsborough, and onto Nambour on the Sunshine Coast.

This project was again announced five years ago this June, as the duplication from Beerburrum through to Landsborough, and has been promised in the past to be completed by 2012, is now seemingly stalled.

We would like to get the 'go' going again.

On Saturday 9 June 2018, then Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Transport Minister Mark Bailey arrived in Nambour to announce $160.8 million funding for the 17km of rail duplication from Beerburrum to Landsborough.

It represented 20% of the cost of the then $780 million project.

That made $550 million of funding available, given the Federal government's historic $390 million contribution announced the month before.

The then Deputy Premier said that planning would continue during the 2018-19 financial year, before the five-year construction period was set to begin in 2019-20 (1)

A tweet issued at 10:37am that day (9 June 2018) by the Transport Minister stated (2):

"It's GO for Sunshine Coast rail commuters with Palaszczuk @QldLabor Govt $160m in budget to upgrade Beerburrum to Nambour incl duplic track Bburrum-Landsbr, 4 station upgrades, 2000 extra car parks, dual platforms = 18 extra daily services, 3 mins quicker to Bris @AnnastaciaMP"


Since that announcement, made 5 years ago this June, Sunshine Coast citizens, and others, are  wondering where their rail line and other works have gone?

At time of writing – not one sleeper has yet been laid.

The DTMR website says an announcement was expected in late 2022 for the stage 1 (heavy rail) works, but to date there is silence on when the 'go' gets going (3).

The early works package that included a 1km realignment of Steve Irwin Way and changes to Moffat Road to accommodate the track, are underway.

Work has also started on one of the park 'n'ride projects with 300 car parks to be added at Landsborough, and the Landsborough bus interchange also under construction.

As part of the works, 50 more car parks are to be provided at Nambour station and 'up to' 300 car parks are to be provided at Beerburrum.

A quick tally reveals that of the 2000 car parks announced in the Minister's original tweet, only 'up to' 650 may be provided, leaving a minimum 1350 car park short-fall.

Also since the state government failed to secure any additional funding from the prior government and apparently from their own Federal counterpart to date, the extent of the rail duplication has been cut back to Beerwah, leaving the project some 5km shy of its announced destination, and some $230 million shy of its (then) cost.

To those wondering why their rail infrastructure is taking so long to materialize, you need look no further than the Queensland budget papers.

It has been a litany of underspend year after year after year.

Over the past four years, up to 30 June 2022, they have spent $61.96 million when they should or could have spent the $132.67 million budgeted.

That equates to less than half, at 46.7% of the total.

When will the heavy rail works start?

What happened to the (minimum) 1350 missing car parks?

Will we ever get the promised additional train services?

We are looking forward to the 18 extra services promised and the 3 minute quicker trip to Brisbane – but given that 9 extra trains promised in 2015 never materialised, we have to wonder if our Government promises ever come true.

As for the $230 million funding shortfall where even the state government's federal counterpart hasn't come to the party, perhaps it has something to do with the $2.7 billion that the Premier suddenly found to fund her beloved 'Gabba redevelopment – while critical rail to the Sunshine Coast flows at 'snail' rail pace.  The single railway track between Beerburrum and Nambour belongs in the 19th Century.  It is way past the time it was sorted.


Jeff Addison
Sunshine Coast Region Spokesperson RAIL Back On Track

Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org


1. Brisbane Times June 9, 2018:'It's about time': All aboard for $160 million Sunshine Coast rail upgrade https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/it-s-about-time-all-aboard-for-160-million-sunshine-coast-rail-upgrade-20180609-p4zkjj.html

3. Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade (Stage 1)
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
Ozbob's Gallery Forum   Facebook  X  Threads  Mastodon  BlueSky

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