BeCA representatives attended a Sunshine Coast Transport Forum organized by local Member of Parliament Jarrod Belijie on Tuesday evening. The meeting was attended by over 120 people. The Shadow Transport Minister was also in attendance. Both the local member and the Shadow Minister spoke of the urgent need for a definitive transport strategy for the Sunshine Coast given the growing population and the confusion created by the sheer number of different plans.
Numerous plans proposed by the government over recent decades has seen no resultant action. The latest decision by the Government to defer the Sunshine Coast railway until 2031 has also added to the debate.
A presentation was given on a proposal to develop a light rail from Caloundra to Maroochydore and the airport. This proposal did not seem to gather much support from the audience who felt that the duplication of the railway line from Caboolture to Nambour or at least Landsborough was more critical to provide effective public transport to Brisbane. It appeared to BeCA however that the council may like the idea of the light rail given the system being introduced on the Gold Coast and are looking at the plan.
There was a lot of discussion about the inefficiency of Translink bus services and difficulties even local members have in making simple changes to bus stops and routes. There was also discussion regarding the impact on local business should a busway lane be introduced on the Niklin Way thus removing any parking.
The Shadow Transport Minister indicated that the government had considerable overseas debt and that whichever government wins the next state election will have to look at innovative ways of funding any initiatives including the private sector.