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Full steam ahead


Full steam ahead

A decades-old vision for a rail network connecting the Sunshine Coast with Brisbane is finally on track after a staggering funding commitment from the federal government.

A whopping $1.6 billion has been allocated to advance the long-awaited CAMCOS project — which has not progressed since 1999.

Federal Member for Fairfax and Special Envoy for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ted O’Brien, told Sunshine Coast News the government was offering the state government a “compelling” 50-50 funding deal on the $3.2 billion venture.

Mr O’Brien said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Transport Minister Mark Bailey both had recently indicated the plan was worth re-examining in 2022 because of the 2032 Games and population growth.

“I would be very surprised if the state government did not see the enormous benefit of this and come to the party,”
he said.

“This is about more than connectivity. It will help alleviate population growth pressures in our region by shifting housing density around new stations.

“This is the most transformative project the Sunshine Coast will see in generations.”

The 37-kilometre passenger rail line would branch east from Beerwah to Caloundra and Maroochydore and could be completed within a decade.

There would be key stations just west of the Caloundra Road/Pelican Waters roundabout, Kawana, near the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the new Maroochydore city centre. The project would support 9550 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.

Federal Member for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Wallace, said the federal government had already delivered funding for the duplication of the North Coast rail line, upgrades to the Bruce Highway, Steve Irwin Way and the Mooloolah River Interchange to the tune of nearly
$3.7 billion.

“This additional $1.6 billion delivers on our number one priority of bringing heavy rail to the Coast, connecting the hinterland and our coastal communities,” he said.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said this was a significant investment in the Sunshine Coast.

“The Beerwah to Maroochydore passenger line has been championed for over six years by local Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien, and Federal Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace,” Minister Fletcher said.

The federal government will continue to work closely with the Queensland government on investment planning to deliver this important transport link.

– WORDS Peter Hall,

What is camcos?

  • CAMCOS stands for Caboolture and Maroochydore Corridor Options Study.
  • Initial public consultation of the corridor was conducted in January 1999, with the vision of a heavy rail line from Brisbane branching east at Beerwah and taking passengers directly to coastal suburbs at Caloundra and Maroochydore.
  • In July 2007, the City of Caloundra and Queensland Government commissioned a study into the realignment of the proposed corridor in Caloundra South. It is proposed the corridor be altered to run west of Golden Beach, and through the Caloundra Airport site.
  • The Beattie Government claimed in 2007 the first stage of CAMCOS to Caloundra would be open by 2015.
  • The construction of a new 14-kilometre double track alignment on the North Coast line from Caboolture to Beerburrum was a key requirement for the project.
  • In early 2022, the plan was re-examined after the announcement of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and continued expected population growth.

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