South East Queensland (SEQ) is one step closer to becoming a 45 minute region, according to the SEQ Council of Mayors, who are delighted with the additions to the Federal Budget.
Funding to establish a National Faster Rail Agency and a commitment to a Brisbane to Gold Coast faster rail business case are welcome additions to last night’s budget announcement.
An initial $14.5 million for a National Faster Rail Agency to identify and support the development of fast rail connections.
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The Coalition also committed $40 million to the detailed assessments of five fast rail corridors including Brisbane to the Gold Coast.
An SEQ faster rail network – when complete – could slash commute times from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to 35 minutes, Brisbane to Ipswich to just 20 minutes, and Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast to 45 minutes.
The network was the cornerstone of the SEQ Council of Mayors’ recent ‘People Mass Movement Study’, to reduce the commute time between cities in the region to under 45 minutes – especially in peak times.
Council of Mayors Chair Cr Graham Quirk said a faster rail network was critical to achieve the vision of a 45 minute region, and to ensure infrastructure delivery would keep pace with the anticipated population growth of the region.
“The SEQ Mayors have lobbied incredibly hard to ensure our region has the infrastructure needed to cater for our growing population.
“This announcement is acknowledgement that our message is getting through and Canberra is hearing us loud and clear.
“We’re also fortunate to have strong and supportive Federal members in SEQ. In particular, we’d like to thank the Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien for his tireless efforts in advocating for better rail connections for the Sunshine Coast and the region as a whole.
“In the coming decades, the region’s population will grow to more than five million people.
“Without the infrastructure to support this growth, maintaining the liveability and lifestyle we currently enjoy in SEQ will become increasingly challenging.
“Brisbane Metro and Cross River Rail will be fantastic enablers of people movement in SEQ, and the introduction of a faster rail network will ensure the benefits of these projects reach well beyond the boundaries of Brisbane City,” said Cr Quirk.
For more information about the SEQ People Mass Movement Study, click here.