The Courier Mail reported Infrastructure Australia had sent the North Coast fast rail project back to the drawing board saying benefits highlighted in the business case failed to stack up against its $5.305 billion cost.
RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said there were more viable projects in the pipeline which could deliver improved rail journeys for travellers and required State and Federal Governments’ focus.
“Delivering projects like the Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication will allow for improved service frequency and journey times between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and will be critical for long term economic growth post-COVID.”
“The network struggles to cope with current population, let alone the projected demand increases from interstate migration, resuming tourism, and increasing freight and delivery demands.
“It’s time to shift the focus from fast rail to faster rail – and implement lower cost, financially sustainable improvements to our existing tracks and lines to deliver the transport Queenslanders have been crying out for.”
Dr Michael said planning should focus on delivering infrastructure with sound business cases, which supported current projects and would benefit the community long term.
“Projects like the Gold Coast rail line upgrades from Kuraby to Beenleigh and Gold Coast light rail extension, and the Ipswich to Springfield Mass Transport Corridor Studyare vital,” she said.
“Let’s focus our energy on these projects – because we want infrastructure which relieves congestion by providing a convenient and attractive alternative to driving.”
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