Public Consultation

The Council has been working on a Mass Transit plan for a number of years.  Their stated preference has been for light rail along our beach corridor with rezoning for higher density housing.  They have now broadened the transport options and released their recommendations and plans in a Draft Options Analysis Report.  They are asking for your feedback on the details of this report. 

There are two ways to have your say on the Draft Options Analysis Report. We recommend you do both.

1) Participate in Council’s online survey (click link above)

2) Write a submission in your own words. (see how to make a submission below)

WHAT IS IN THE DRAFT OPTIONS ANALYSIS REPORT?

  • The report deems the coastal corridor from Maroochydore to Birtinya (SCUH) as the first transport priority for the Coast. Operational by 2027. It proposes a fixed infrastructure, public transport network along this 13.6km stretch at a cost of over $2 billion. They refer to this as "mass transit". All the other options such as heavy rail along the Camcos corridor are deemed to be further down the priority list.

  • The report lists 9 transport options for this 13.6km corridor. Council have stated a preference for only 5 of these:

    • Quality Bus Corridor,

    • Bus Rapid Transit,

    • Light Rail Transit,

    • Trackless Tram and

    • Wire free Light Rail.

  • Council are further saying, the last 4 options will definitely be progressed to the next stage, (The Detailed Business Case) whilst the Quality Bus Corridor may be progressed but as a staging option or as an ultimate option.

  • All 4 of these definite options are very similar:

    • They are only along the coastal strip and do not benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast.

    • All are similar to Light Rail in that they will run down the centre of the road and will create a barrier along the beach.

    • All will require lanes to be removed, property resumptions and enable high-rise along the corridor.

    • All will cost in excess of $2billion each.

We do NOT consider any of the options being offered to you are the answer to current or future population or transport problems on the Coast. The preferred options do NOT benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast. Instead they focus only on 13.6km and transport modes that best deliver higher population densities in this 13.6km.

Our FIRST preference is to see fast/heavy rail from Brisbane to Maroochydore (Camcos) with a modern, efficient, flexible, green, bus system connecting ALL the sunshine coast region

But Council’s FIRST priority is this 13.6km mass transit system extending from Maroochydore to Birtinya (SCUH), in place by 2027. We oppose this for the +50 reasons listed here

HOW TO NAVIGATE COUNCIL'S SURVEY

  • Despite its complexity and perceived bias, you should still complete it. This is your opportunity to voice your thoughts on Council's plan. Saying nothing will be taken as agreement.

  • Register at the commencement of the survey. Save your answers and carefully review it as many times as you need, before submitting.

  • If you must complete the survey in one go you do not need to register. But allow at least half an hour to complete the survey.

  • Use the comments boxes to record your views.

  • It may be useful to prepare your responses to the comments boxes in Word or similar and save them before you complete the survey. This will mean you do not need to retype responses should there be a problem with the survey or your computer.

  • Don’t choose any transport option. Instead comment on the 5 preferred options. Record your views for each option in the comments boxes.

  • Make it clear that NONE of the options are right for the Sunshine Coast and why.

  • If you believe the Camcos corridor should be the number 1 priority then use the spaces provided to make this known.

  • We recommend writing a separate submission as well.

Download the Draft Options Analysis document here. The document is 316 pages, but there is a 22 page executive summary we recommend you read before completing the survey or making a submission.

The Options

There are 9 transport options in the Draft Options Analysis Report.  These are the options and our thoughts:

  • business as usual (Not Council preferred)

    • MTAG - This option is never likely to happen as nothing ever stays the same forever

  • road network upgrades – road upgrades in the coastal corridor which would benefit all users including buses (Not Council Preferred)

    • MTAG - This option is needed regardless of what public transport option is chosen. It needs to be region-wide

  • region-wide bus service enhancements – new and existing routes with improved frequency, more direct routes and better connections (Not Council Preferred)

    • MTAG - This option would benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast but needs to include new technologies such as electric and hydrogen buses. Needs road upgrades as well.  A good option if combined with Fast Rail to Brisbane.

  • region-wide bus network upgrades supported by key bus infrastructure such as improved shelters, sections of bus priority lanes and park ‘n’ ride facilities (Not Council Preferred)

    • MTAG - This option would benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast but again needs to include new technologies such as electric and hydrogen buses and needs road upgrades to work.  Again could work if combined with Fast Rail to Brisbane.

  • quality bus corridor – a high-frequency bus service running in dedicated kerbside bus priority lanes with features such as high-quality vehicles, pre-paid boarding and quality bus stops (Shortlisted by Council but may only proceed as a staging option)

    • MTAG - This option is only along the coastal strip and does not benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast.  It needs to include new technologies such as electric and hydrogen buses. It would also require road upgrades. Cost $0.88 billion

  • Bus Rapid Transit – 25 metre-long battery-powered, rubber tyred vehicles running at high frequency in a dedicated busway corridor mostly in the centre of the road with high-quality stations, pre-paid boarding and priority signalling (Council preferred)

    • MTAG - This option is only along the coastal strip and does not benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast.  It is similar to Light Rail in that it would run down the centre of the road and would create a barrier along the beach.  It would require lanes to be removed, property resumptions and enable higher density living along the corridor. Cost $2.37 billion

  • Light Rail Transit - 45 metre long modern rail vehicles running at high frequency on a dedicated trackway mostly in the centre of the road with high-quality stations, pre-paid boarding and priority signalling (Council Preferred)

    • MTAG - This option is only along the coastal strip and does not benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast.  It has a fixed track and ugly overhead wires.  It is noisy and would create a barrier along the beach. It would require lanes to be removed, property resumptions and enable higher density living along the corridor.  Cost $2.66 billion.

  • Trackless tram - 32 metre long battery powered rubber tyred 'tram like' vehicles running at high frequency in a dedicated busway corridor mostly in the centre of the road with high-quality stations, pre-paid boarding and priority signalling (Council Preferred)

    • MTAG - This option is only along the coastal strip and does not benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast.  It is similar to Light Rail in that it would run down the centre of the road.  It would require lanes to be removed, property resumptions and enable higher density living along the corridor. It is also extremely expensive. Cost $2.39 billion

  • wLRT - A wire-free light rail system - identical to the light rail option, minus the overhead wires, with on-board batteries and charging equipment at select stations. (Council Preferred)

    • MTAG - This option is only along the coastal strip and does not benefit the whole of the Sunshine Coast.  It is the same as the Light Rail option without the wires. It would run down the centre of the road, require lanes to be removed, property resumptions and enable higher density living along the corridor. It is more expensive than the Light Rail Option. Cost $2.64 billion

 

How to Make a Submission

 

 

All submissions must be in your own words, dated, include your name and address or email address and be signed (unless submitted electronically).  You can email, mail or hand deliver it to Council.   Or if you would prefer, you can email it to us at  masstransitsc@gmail.com and we will deliver it to Council for you.  You have until 22 June 22 to voice your thoughts.

Need Help? We have compiled over 50 reasons why the Draft Options Analysis and its preference for light rail along our beach corridor,  is not right for the Sunshine Coast.

Click here to take the Council's Survey

Click here to download a submission form

Click here to view 50 reasons why light rail is not right for the Sunshine Coast

 

Listen to what MP Jarrod Bleijie, Member for Kawana, thinks about the Council's Public Consultation.

Parliamentary Speech March 23 2021.

Past Updates

issued 18/3/2021

 

Consultation will run for a period of 8 weeks but will only be on transport "options" not the densification plans associated with them.  The densification consultation is supposed to be handled under the new Planning Scheme consultation process that won't occur until some time in the future.  We find this totally unacceptable. 

 

As someone said, this is like asking us to choose a fridge from a catalogue but not show the prices.  Only after the choice is made do you find out the price and only after you have paid your money do you find out the fridge you chose requires your whole kitchen to be remodeled.  Hence if you had known this in the beginning you would have made a different choice!!

 

The Council website now says there are now 9 transport options under review.  We have been told the consultation process aims to reduce this down to a final 2-3 options that will then be passed to the State Government for the preparation of a Detailed Business Case. 

 

Mtag asked the Council what measurement criteria would be used to determine the final 2-3 options but did not receive an answer.  Previous criteria used by the Council gave 30% weighting to the ability of the transport mode to deliver infill and NO weighting to Community views.  This previous criteria favours Light Rail so it is critical different measurement criteria be used and community views be given greater weighting over "infill" criteria if this consultation is to have any meaning at all.  We must all stress this in our feedback during the consultation period

 

The 9 options under consideration are:

  1. business as usual

  2. road network upgrades

  3. region-wide bus system operation enhancements 

  4. region-wide bus system upgrades supported by key bus infrastructure such as improved shelters, sections of bus priority lanes and park ‘n’ ride facilities

  5. quality bus corridor 

  6. bus Rapid Transit – 25 metre-long battery-powered vehicles

  7. light Rail Transit - 45 metre long  vehicles running on a dedicated trackway with fixed overhead wires mostly in the centre of the road.

  8. trackless tram - 32 metre long battery powered rubber tyred vehicles.  running at high frequency in a dedicated corridor mostly in the centre of the road.

  9. wLRT - A wire-free light rail system - identical to the light rail option, minus the overhead wires, with on-board batteries and charging equipment at select stations.

issued 17/2/2021

Mtag has had several meetings in the past two weeks with Council representative regarding the Mass transit plan.  In particular we met with the new CEO, Emma Thomas, Cr Rick Baberowski and James Coutts (SCRC Program Director Urban Growth) on February 17th. Whilst we were able to gain answers to some of our questions, some items remain a concern.

 

Key Points of interest:

 

  • No date has been set for the commencement of public consultation.  Council are still completing the draft "Options Analysis" report and consultation details. 

 

  • Consultation should commence some time in March and run for 6 weeks or longer if necessary. It will likely run over Easter and the school holidays to capture the visitors view as well.  These views will be separated from resident's views.

 

  • Consultation will not be based on the content of the Preliminary Business Case Interim Findings report by PwC released in Jan 2020 but the new "Options Analysis Report" when it is finalized.

 

  • The Options Analysis Report will be released to the public prior to the commencement of consultation.

 

  • Consultation will be on Transport "Options".  It was stated "many may think the Council is fixated on Light Rail but we are not"... "we are looking at all the public transport options".  New technologies are now going to be included.

 

  • The densification component of the mass transit plan is not being included in public consultation.  It will be addressed in the new Planning Scheme consultation which will occur in the future.  (We regard this to be a major flaw and have questioned how the consultation can be meaningful if the densification part of the plan is not included)

 

  • Consultation will explore the "Built Forms" the community want to see in the coastal corridor.  We take this to mean how many stories of high rise the community will tolerate.  We think pretty images of possible medium density dwellings and high density dwellings will be prepared.  We are concerned these images will look good but not necessarily represent what developers will put into place. We must all ask "Do we want these next door to our house"?  

 

  • It will be a rolling engagement adapting as more feedback is received.

 

  • It will commence with an online survey which will be used to build up the 2nd and 3rd stages. Visual engagement tools will be used.

 

  • Round table workshops with "key stakeholders" and community groups will occur.

 

  • Their aim is to have two design Charettes (A Charrette is a collaborative planning process that harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a master plan that represents transformative community change.)  These are toward the end of the consultation process.

 

  • Resident Submissions will be a part of the process.

 

  • Council will be doing the Consultation - not Articulous..  Articulous are there for "Logistical Support".

 

  • Younger view points are to be canvased through an intergenerational forum which will occur in partnership with the University.

Background

 

On Aug 20,  Council voted infavour (7 to 3) of community consultation on this project.  The Mayor, Cr Peter Cox and Cr Terry Landsberg voted against.  Cr Rick Baberowski was out ill.  Disappointingly,  comments he has made following the vote indicate he too would have voted against public consultation.  Thankfully the rest of Council looked out for the people they represent.

Public Consultation is to be in 3 phases with a budget of $300,000 - $400,000

  • Phase 1 "Inform", late 2020

  • Phase 2 "Engage", early 2021 (This is when we must all write to Council)

  • Phase 3 "Feedback", Mid 2021

A public tender process occurred in November 2020 for the phase 2 "engage" stage.  Brisbane company "Articulous" were awarded the tender.  

The tender documents also outlined the "scope" of the engagement phase.  (Click here to view) Disappointingly, important issues such as property impacts and traffic are NOT to being included.  Mtag is urging everyone to therefore write a submission to Council with all your concerns. 

Phase 1   "Inform"

This phase is completely run by Council and the community will not have any say into what occurs here nor have the opportunity to give feedback.  Concerns exist that this "inform" stage will not be fully representative of what is being planned.  Decorative images have begun to be released which are not representative of how the actual light rail will look.  Overhead wires, safety barriers, warning signage and the accompanying high-rises around the stations have all been omitted.  

Council image of light rail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual images of light rail (Click image to view all)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disappointingly Council officers and some Councilors have also begun to play down the densification levels proposed in the plan.  They are now saying high density is not planned but rather only medium density and the population levels are not expected to be a high as Cr Natoli has claimed.  This is despite earlier Council documents referencing "High" density and Council's own documents showing a plan to increase the capacity of the 13km stretch to 5 times the levels of population and dwellings that are currently there now. 

Mtag will continue to inform the public  to ensure the full details of what is being planned are known, not just the sanitized version Council wants people to hear!

Phase 2 "Engage"  

Brisbane based consultancy "Articulous" will conduct this phase of the consultation on behalf of the Council.

We are lead to believe the following will not be included for public feedback:

  • alternative transport networks

  • other mass transit modes, route alignments and station locations

  • property impacts

  • consideration of construction processes including timeframes, staging and impacts

  • Detailed traffic modelling

  • detailed layouts of road and lane configurations 

  • operational elements such as fares, schedules and integration with existing services

  • Densification levels planned.

Phase 3 "Feedback"  

The community will not be involved in Stage three.  This is where the results of Phase 2 are compiled and presented back to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council for inclusion in the final "Options Analysis" report.

 

Click here to Register  to receive community consultation updates and further information from Mtag once we know more.

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