On Monday evening representatives of several local Community Organizations met to discuss Transport issues across the Sunshine Coast and, in particular, the proposed East-West Corridor Road. BeCA, Sunshine Coast Ratepayers South and Golden Beach Progress Association were represented.
It was decided to enlist the support of Jason Hunt and arrange a meeting with either the Minister for Roads or one of his advisors to press the case for at least to begin planning the proposed East-West Corridor Road.
It is envisaged that initially this road will connect with Pelican Waters Blvd and Bellvista Blvd and eventually provide a second corridor road to allow motorists to drive from Pelican Waters through to the Bruce Hwy via the Bells Creek Arterial Rd.
This led to the group to consider the overall planning of Transport and Transportation needs of the Sunshine Coast.
There are several large projects which are due to come online over the next 10 years or so which will have a marked effect on the Sunshine Coast and traffic conditions.
Some members of the community may not fully appreciate the benefits and grandeur that the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital will bring to the region. The influx of professionals and other workers to man this huge complex will have a deep impact on the Sunshine Coast lifestyle.
The extension of the runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport will open doors hardly envisaged today by the everyday person in the street. It will rocket this part of Australia onto a worldwide stage for tourism, exports and imports. It will provide a second backup to an already stretched Brisbane Airport and bring a range of new industries and employment to the region.
To house the workers of the new and exciting developments there will be communities such as Caloundra South and Palmview with homes to accommodate a further 75,000 people.
In just a couple of years we will see the Commonwealth Games come to South East Queensland and it is expected the Sunshine Coast will play a role in hosting this world wide event.
As the population arrives, then so too does the need for new schools, shopping complexes, associated services and a coordinated and carefully staged plan for road construction and the provision of public transport services.
Already Caloundra Road is experiencing huge difficulties in accommodating traffic during peak times. Works are in the pipeline to improve traffic concerns at the Nicklin Way/Caloundra Rd roundabout but these appear to be piecemeal and more like band aid treatment rather than an effective solution to stem the flow of blood from a wide gaping wound.
It is time to look at the bigger picture. It is time for Council to take some leadership and host a Transport and Transportation Forum which can formulate a broad based ‘across the region strategic plan’ to address traffic and transportation issues into the next decade.
Rather than a quick fix here and another there, a co-ordinated approach is required. There is a need for a much improved Public Transport system, a rail corridor onto the Coast itself and to explore a range of options for the future needs of the community.
The Community Organizations will press our Council Representatives to conduct a full public forum covering all facets of a transport and transportation plan for the Sunshine Coast, a plan which will best serve the needs of our rapidly growing community. It is expected the forum should be open to everyone and deliver an across the region perspective of traffic and transportation concerns.
A range of strategies was then discussed to bring this suggestion to the attention of our local Councillors. With Mayor Jamieson attending the BeCA November Public Meeting, BeCA will suggest he speak to this issue. The local press will also be involved and support sought from other community organizations across the region.