Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to fast track federal funding for major job-creating Sunshine Coast projects.
The Premier singled out the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade and six-laning the Bruce Highway between Pine River and Caloundra Road as projects that could be accelerated.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia has called on the Morrison Government to boost infrastructure spending to support the national economy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The Sunshine Coast has shovel-ready projects ready to create hundreds of jobs that fit the bill.
“We’ve started work on the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade using our $190 million commitment, but half of the federal money pledged for the project under Malcolm Turnbull still doesn’t flow until 2022-23.
“That’s too far away and not good enough for the people of the Sunshine Coast.
“I’ve written to the Prime Minister requesting he bring forward funding, so we can deliver the full scale of this critical rail project sooner.
“I’ve also urged his government contribute a further $253 million to meet the 80:20 funding split we believe this project should receive as part of the Federal Government’s own National Land Transport Network.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Morrison Government should also bring forward its Bruce Highway funding commitments.
“The Morrison Government says it’s in for $878 million to upgrade the Bruce between Pine River and Caloundra Road, but Queensland won’t see most of that – $740 million – until 2023-24 at the earliest,” Mr Bailey said.
“We could be starting construction on the first package of works for this upgrade as early as next year, so we’ve asked the Morrison Government to bring forward about $113 million of that $878 million.
“Doing that will give the Sunshine Coast’s growing population some certainty that highway upgrades will be delivered on time, and also provide confidence that hundreds of local construction jobs will continue to be supported in the coming years.”