Truss to consider Coast to Bundaberg highway

A PIE in the sky idea to acquire land for a coastal highway linking the Sunshine Coast to Bundaberg has tentative support from the Deputy Prime Minister and Queensland's tourism industry body.

The idea is set for debate at the Queensland LNP's annual three-day convention, which begins today, after the Wide Bay State Electoral Council suggested state and federal governments consider linking the Cooloola Coast road, near Gympie, with the Goodwood Road, south of Bundaberg.

A spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, who will address the convention in Brisbane today, said the coastal highway resolution was "worthy of further investigation".

"It's been talked about for a long time. It would have to be shared funding between councils, state and Commonwealth governments," she said.

"But in terms of the costings … no business case has been put forward."

Mr Truss, the Federal member for Wide Bay, said another LNP motion up for debate from his local council called for progressively doubling the North Coast Railway Line from north of Caboolture to near Gladstone would mostly fall under state government jurisdiction but also there was a commercial investigation into the tracks with a report due this year.

Robert Dow, from Rail Back on Track, said the rail duplication was a worthwhile project and his commuter lobby group would back the motion 100%.

"It's a very important freight corridor and we need to get a lot more freight back on rail which is probably behind the LNP agenda item," he said.

"It's critical to get the freight off the Bruce Highway back onto the rail.

"The trucks are causing a lot of damage to roads and causing trauma with crashes.

"But got to get them off the roads, we need track capacity improved."

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief Daniel Gschwind said there would need to be a clear plan about the end goal but he thought a coastal highway could be a great idea.

He said the Great Ocean Road trip in Victoria was an attraction in itself and creating this coastal highway in Queensland could attract tourists here.

"It's about the journey not just about the destination," he said.

"So if we can enhance that experience then that is obviously a positive.

"Of course, it deserves some consideration."

Mr Gschwind said as well as providing attractive landscapes and views, the road must be convenient and safer.

Detailed questions put to Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson about the viability, benefits and pitfalls of the proposals in the motions were met with a two-line response.

"The motions are a matter for the convention to debate this weekend," the statement read.

"I'm focused on delivering the Toowoomba Second Range project and our $10 billion 10-year plan to bring the Bruce Highway up to a satisfactory standard."

But the spokeswoman did add nothing had been ruled out.



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