The Sunshine Coast community embraced the opportunity to comment on the proposed light rail route options with more than 700 submissions received during the four week public display period.
Mayor Mark Jamieson thanked the community for joining the conversation about light rail and taking the time to go online or attend a community information session to learn more about this proposed mode of transport.
“Alternative transport options are an important consideration for a sustainable future for the Sunshine Coast. It is reassuring that more than 85% of respondents were supportive of council’s investigation into light rail,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“There is still a long way to go, but the community’s willingness to engage with council’s investigation into light rail at this early stage is encouraging.”
A light rail system has been proposed to form a link between the major growth areas of Caloundra and Maroochydore—supported by a frequent and reliable bus system to connect other communities and the Hinterland—to create a world-class integrated regional transport system.
Transport portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski said the opportunity for the community to comment on the proposed light rail route options was an important step in identifying a preferred route and a significant milestone for the project.
“This was a chance for the Sunshine Coast community to engage in a discussion with council about a regional transport solution that has the potential to cater for future growth while also maintaining the lifestyle for which the Coast is renowned,” Cr Baberowski said.
“The response from the community has been outstanding. I have enjoyed many conversations about light rail over the past four weeks and look forward to learning more about the community’s opinions on the route options as the submissions are analysed.”
Council’s light rail project team will review the feedback and prepare a report to council. The report will include shortlisted routes for more detailed feasibility studies to examine engineering, planning implications, costs and timing.
There will also be further opportunities for the community to have input before a final decision about a light rail network is made. Results of these studies will ensure that council can present a clear case to the Queensland Government on whether light rail is right and feasible for the Sunshine Coast.
Subject to feasibility and confirmation of funding commitments from other levels of government, construction of a light rail network could start in 2022 with Stage 1, between Maroochydore and Kawana, operational by 2025.
Information about the light rail project is available at www.lightrail.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au. To follow the investigation into light rail, register via the website to receive updates as the project progresses.