Sunshine Coast Council’s study into the potential of light rail received further industry recognition at the recent Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) 2015 Awards for Planning Excellence in Queensland.
The Sunshine Coast Light Rail: Shaping our Future report, prepared by design firm Hassell in conjunction with Council’s light rail team, recently won the state award in the ‘Best Planning Ideas—Large Regional or Urban Project’ category.
Planning Institute of Australia State President Kate Isles said this year’s winners included an array of exceptional projects that had benefitted millions of Queensland residents and businesses.
“This year’s winners have made active and positive contributions to Queensland and our way of life,” Ms Isles said.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was pleased that the Sunshine Coast light rail project was receiving strong recognition, with this award underscoring the recent win in the ‘Policies, Programs and Concepts-Large Scale’ category at the national Australian Urban Design Awards 2015.
“This early planning report showed light rail has the potential to deliver more lifestyle options, health benefits, stimulate new business and property investment and improve property values—and for those reasons Council considered it was worth further investigation,” Mayor Jamieson said.
"Council is seeking innovative ways to maintain the quality of life for future generations on the Sunshine Coast, so our local centres and communities are connected and our streets and civic spaces are activated in a way that promotes enjoyment, accessibility and convenience.
“These industry awards further reinforce Council’s direction as we seek to shape a sustainable future for the Sunshine Coast—a future that can benefit the community, protect our environment and help to ensure a vibrant economy.
Detailed research, planning and investigation for a proposed light rail service is currently underway. Results of the feasibility studies will ensure Council can present a clear case to the Queensland Government on whether light rail is right and feasible for the Sunshine Coast.
Council has committed to a program of formal community consultation before a final decision about a light rail network is made.