BIG NEWS! - $390 MILLION FOR RAIL
Today the Deputy Prime Minister was on the Sunshine Coast to announce the Federal Government will fund duplication and capacity upgrades to the North Coast Line between Beerburrum and Nambour.
This is a huge win for our 'Get on Board' campaign to secure funding for better rail infrastructure on the Sunshine Coast. Thank you to the thousands of people who have added their name in support – this is your win!
This $390 million commitment represents 50% of the Beerburrum-to-Nambour Rail Duplication project cost as submitted by the Qld State Government to Infrastructure Australia, with the remaining 50% to come from the State.
Rail duplication will get freight off the passenger line making train travel faster and more reliable, and take trucks off the Bruce Highway making road travel safer.
To think only a handful of years ago, no Federal Government was looking to fund rail of this kind and here we are today with a $390 million commitment!
But, this campaign is far from over. We still need the State Government to confirm its contribution and we also have a long way to go before we get the ultimate prize of Fast Rail over the line. So, please get on board. Register your support at www.fastrail.com.au.
For more information on why these projects are essential for the Coast, see my video here.
To hear more on the announcement at Landsborough Train Station, watch my interview here.
Project facts and questions answered
The Beerburrum-to-Nambour Rail Duplication project involves duplicating 20 kilometres of rail line from Beerburrum to Landsborough, and additional capacity upgrades between Landsborough and Nambour, such as passing loops, route realignments, level crossing removals, station improvements, and supporting works. The project will increase freight capacity and increase the frequency and reliability of passenger services, easing pressure on the Bruce Highway.
How does this project fit with the Fast Rail proposal?
Any faster rail connection from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane will need this upgrade to proceed. This upgrade has been assessed by Infrastructure Australia as a Priority Project, and so we are getting on with the job of planning and constructing this upgrade.
Isn’t there a risk that building this now will limit the possibility of faster rail on this stretch of track?
The Government recognises that demand on this section of track is already at or near the capacity of the line and will need to be addressed in the near term regardless of faster rail. This funding commitment allows us to start the vital work of dealing with that issue. However, by developing a business case for faster rail in parallel, we are able to address the current needs while also planning for the future.
The CAMCOS corridor branches off the line at Beerwah. Does the current design facilitate a line branching at that point?
The CAMCOS corridor refers to the Beerwah to Maroochydore rail corridor identified in the Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study. There is still a lot of design work to be done before construction commences, and that is why we are funding the construction of this project in parallel with the faster rail business case – so that we can address the current need while planning for the future.
Is Queensland participating in developing the Faster Rail Business Case?
The Queensland Government have committed to provide the Beerburrum to Nambour Business Case to the North Coast Connect Consortium.
Given the Queensland Government has said that this project needs Cross River Rail to proceed for the benefits to be realised, does your funding commitment to this project suggest that you’re reconsidering funding Cross River Rail?
The Queensland Government has fully funded Cross River Rail. The Australian Government is focused on delivering its funding priorities in the state including Beerburrum to Nambour and other major infrastructure projects that will be included in the 2018-19 Budget.