A significant research project spearheaded by a leading business group has revealed the importance of transport infrastructure after the announcement of Federal Government cuts.
Infrastructure Minister Catherine King announced the government’s response to an independent review of the infrastructure investment program this morning.
It found the existing pipeline of 274 national road and rail projects were undeliverable within the current budget allocation.
The Mooloolah River Interchange Upgrade and the Nicklin Way-Third Avenue Connection, Caloundra were among 50 projects axed by the Federal Government.
The Sunshine Coast Direct Rail Line will proceed through planning, with the remaining funding reserved for construction.
Caloundra Chamber of Commerce CEO Brady Sullivan said the leading business group was committed to enhancing community livability and building a prosperous economy on the Sunshine Coast.
“The Caloundra Chamber of Commerce is disappointed to see the cuts made to Sunshine Coast transport infrastructure projects today, and we are seeking further clarification from State and Federal Governments,” he said.
“Investment in transport is essential to support the community, our economy and the delivery of a successful 2032 games.
“If these projects are cut, then we need to hear the Federal Government’s plan to support the Sunshine Coast’s current and future generations.”
A recent study by the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce revealed a lack of effective transport infrastructure, available and affordable housing and a vibrant nightlife was impacting business growth on the Sunshine Coast.
The ‘Regional Competitiveness: Perceptions of “Living Working and Playing” on the Sunshine Coast’ white paper showcased feedback from 179 employers and 454 potential employees in a bid to understand the Sunshine Coast’s workforce needs.
Questioned employees stated a “lack of decent public transport” was one of the reasons why they hadn’t pursued job opportunities on the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Sullivan said the research proved the lack of effective transport infrastructure inhibited businesses’ ability to attract a workforce and hampered regional economic growth.
“The Sunshine Coast will need 203,940 employees by 2026,” Mr Sullivan said.
“To ensure we harness the region’s growth and create a prosperous future for everyone in our community, we need to address the concerns of our employers and employees by building a reliable transport network, boosting nightlife and providing affordable housing options.”