Rapid delivery of region priorities before rapid rail

After new research suggested a rapid rail network would boost tourism for south east Queensland, the State’s peak motoring body said the social and planning impacts of the proposal needed to be considered.

The Courier Mail reported transport links across the region were the biggest single factor in driving future demand among domestic visitors.

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RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said RACQ supported investment in public transport and the economy, but proposals of this size needed to be appropriately timed to ensure Queenslanders were getting the most benefit.

“Our current public transport network could be significantly improved with this kind of investment,” Dr Michael said.

“The region urgently needs current priority projects to be delivered, including completion of the Gold Coast light rail, bus network reform, the Beerburrum to Nambour upgrade, Sunshine Coast light rail, and improving overall network performance with more frequent, accessible and affordable services for everyone.”

Dr Michael said when looking at large scale infrastructure projects like this it was also important to consider the social and planning impacts.

“Faster rail to places like the Gold Coast will mean more people will move there and commute further. Unfortunately, the Gold Coast has a limited urban footprint, and population growth that exceeds the land capacity will reduce liveability.”