Premier: Less than 30 homes to be resumed for railway
UPDATE: PREMIER Campbell Newman revealed "less than 30 homes" would be resumed between Beerburrum and Landsborough during a snap press conference at Landsborough this morning in regards to the duplicate rail line.
The Premier was in Landsborough with his five sitting MPs and the LNP candidate for Nicklin to officially announce the duplication of the railway line.
He promised, if the LNP government was elected, the $532 million project would be finished by 2019 with construction due to begin this year.
He said it would "create 3000 jobs during the construction period".
Member for Glasshouse, Andrew Powell, was grinning from ear-to-ear as the Premier made the announcement he had been fighting for since elected in 2009.
"Three weeks after I was elected the former Labor Government cancelled its promise to duplicate the line to Landsborough," Mr Powell said.'
"This is something I have been in the (Transport) Minister's ear about since we were elected."
Member for Maroochydore, Fiona Simpson, said this infrastructure commitment was "the best improvement (of the railway line) since the 1980s".
Mr Powell specifically acknowledged rail commuter Jeff Addison and the Sunshine Coast Daily for their hard work in keeping the need for the rail duplication at the top of the agenda.
EARLIER: PREMIER Campbell Newman has said homes along the Sunshine Coast rail corridor may be resumed if the LNP duplicates the line that links the region to Brisbane.
The Sunshine Coast Daily today broke the news of Premier Newman's promise of a $532 million rail duplication for the Coast.
Mr Newman told Mark and Caroline on Mix FM the investment would mean a "100 per cent increase" in the capacity on the line between Beerburrum and Landsborough.
The upgrade would mean an extra 150 services per week for those commuting between Brisbane and the Coast.
Mr Newman said the plan was a once a broken promise made by Labor, now in line for funding if the LNP leases state-owned assets.
The Premier said for this reason, the rail duplication could only be delivered by the LNP.
During the interview, Mr Newman was asked whether the rail duplication would require the same resumptions flagged under Labor's earlier plan.
A caller into the program said up to 50 properties in Landsborough faced resumption when the ALP promise was first made.
The Premier said he could not answer because it was "a level of detail that I'm not across".
"If people do need to talk to us about resumptions, we'll do that quickly and efficiently, not leaving people in limbo," he said.
In a press conference later in the day, Mr Newman said it was "less than 30" properties to be affected.
Mr Newman is familiar with the need to resume properties for major projects.
As Brisbane's Lord Mayor, the council resumed properties so it could develop massive cross-city tunnels.
Up to 113 homes were to be resumed by the Brisbane City Council to build the Northern Link tunnel linking the inner-city suburbs of Kelvin Grove and Toowoong.
At the time of its 2008 announcement, then mayor Newman said those affected would have their properties valued by independent experts to ensure they were given fair compensation.
More to come, as the Sunshine Coast Daily reports on the Premier's Coast press conference.
'The Campbell that could' promises Coast rail upgrade
IN WHAT is being tipped as one of the LNP's biggest infrastructure pledges, Premier Campbell Newman will today promise to fund the duplication of the Coast railway line.
If duplicated the major infrastructure project, which will cost more than $500 million, would allow for a more frequent and faster rail service to Brisbane.
It would also allow more freight to be shipped along the east coast to the Port of Brisbane, which could cut traffic on the highway.
Mr Newman is expected to announce today that the funding for the project will come from the LNP government's Strong Choices plan, with government sources saying it's likely to be one of the biggest items announced during the election campaign.
Last week, the five sitting Sunshine Coast LNP members of Parliament and one candidate gathered in independent MP Peter Wellington's electorate of Nicklin to promise to work as a team for public transport improvements for the Coast.
Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson rated duplication of the rail line as the team's "No.1 priority".
Today's announcement turns their plans to "fight" and "lobby" into a party promise should it be re-elected come January 31.
The former Labor government previously pledged to finish the duplication between Caboolture and Landsborough by 2012 and then extend it to Nambour, but work stopped at Beerburrum in April 2009.
Member for Glass House Andrew Powell said the project would be a massive boost to the Coast and its economy.
"Labor had 20 years to deliver this project - but delivered nothing but broken promises," Mr Powell said.
"This project will transform rail services for Coast commuters travelling to Brisbane.
"But it will also create hundreds of jobs, benefit the environment and help businesses move more of their goods as rail freight."
LNP candidate for Nicklin Matt Trace threw his support behind the promise.
"Everyone on the Sunshine Coast wants this project - but only a re-elected Newman LNP government will actually be able to deliver it," Mr Trace said.
Further details are expected to be announced today.
WHY WE NEED DUPLICATION
- The train trip from Caboolture to Brisbane took 42 minutes in 1986. Today the same trip takes 62 minutes.
- 44% of the daily train services between Nambour and Caboolture are buses.
- Buses take 90 minutes to travel 54km, a train takes an hour. Buses are needed because there is not enough room on the single-line track for the long-distance passenger trains, the freight rail services and city rail passenger services.
- This section of the north coast line has been identified as the busiest single line in Australia.
- Express routes to Brisbane can't begin without the duplication.