About the Mass Transit Project
Many people think the Mass Transit Project currently being undertaken by the Sunshine Coast Council, is about finding the public transport solution that is right for residents. It is not. It is about finding the form of Public Transport that will deliver the greatest Urban Transformation ie infill. Only one option is currently being considered and recommended for further detailed investigation - Light Rail all the way from Maroochydore to Kawana.
This is not only about putting a light rail system into the Sunshine Coast area but also massively increasing the housing density from Maroochydore to Kawana. We need a transport solution for the future but this is not it!
Mass Transit = Mass Highrise!
The project is spread over 3 phases
Strategic Business Case: Completed and accepted by Council July 2019 (no Community consultation)
Preliminary Business Case: Now renamed to "Options Analysis" due for Completion June 2021 (Community consultation to now occur in early 2021)
Detailed Business Case: On hold until community consultation above completed
Under the current plan, the Sunshine Coast Council is proposing to increase the housing density 400m either side of the light rail corridor. The shaded area on the map below represents the catchment areas for the light rail and where high-rise will potentially go.
Stage 1 (the extent of the current project) looks at the 13km stretch from Maroochydore to Kawana. If it goes ahead, it will mean the population has the potential to be up to 5 times more than we have now in this 13km stretch. There will be mass densification from Maroochydore to the University Hospital. And this is only stage 1! Stage 2 continues this densification all the way to Caloundra.
The Sunshine Coast will be another Gold Coast!
The Sunshine Coast Council on August 20th agreed to undertake public consultation on this plan before progressing to the 3rd and final stage of the project and handing it over to the State Government. This means the $15million being jointly funded between the Council and the State Government won't be spent until after the Community has a say on the proposal. This is wise. It is now important we all voice our thoughts to Council on what we would like to see happen in the future.
This is not just about the people on the Coast, it impacts everyone.
For some it will impact where they live, for others ,where they play.
But we will all Pay!
Even if you do not live in the area shown, it will still affect you. To date $8.5 million of rate payer money has been spent on this project. There is another $15 million allocated for the next stage of this project. Council is planning to fund $7.5 million of this. This comes moslty from the transport levy we all pay.
The total amenity of the Sunshine Coast is at risk. And where does it stop? Caloundra is next then where? Not only will there be more cars on the road with this plan, the money has to come from somewhere.
Based on similar projects elsewhere, this project could cost between of $1.5 billion to $3 billion. In Sydney their Light Rail Project is already double the budgeted $1.5billion. On the Gold Coast all residents pay a transport Levy of $133 per year. We currently pay $44 but will ours also be increased? Who pays for the infrastructure to support this? Everyone will! This plan does not mean less congestion...it means more cost, more people, more cars and more high-rise. Is this what you want?
So What has the Money been spent on?
Detailed below is the budget for the Preliminary Business Case (Now called Options Analysis)