100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

Infrastructure projects under review, putting focus on works including Sunshine Coast Rail

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

Fishing report: Jasper’s big reef haul

We've finally enjoyed a run of good weather, with beautiful sunny days and minimal wind. The weather is looking pretty good for the coming weekend More

Major bank to relocate town’s only branch

A big four bank is set to relocate its only remaining branch in a busy town, meaning customers will need to go to the More

Upgrades for three busy intersections on main road

Works have started on improving a trio of intersections on bustling Nicklin Way. The upgrades are set to help reduce congestion and the potential for More

Crane arrival marks new heights for hospital construction

The skyline of new Maroochydore CBD is transforming with the arrival of a tower crane on the Maroochy Private Hospital construction site, marking another More

New deputy mayor appointed as Natoli makes first address

The new Sunshine Coast Council has held its post-election meeting, with Councillor Maria Suarez to serve as the region’s new deputy mayor. Cr Suarez, who More

Photo of the day: sunrise reflections

Sunrise at Mooloolaba Beach, by Helen Browne. If you have a photo of the day offering, email photo@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. Photos must be horizontal/landscape and may need More

The future of some road and rail projects – including the Sunshine Coast Rail – could be in jeopardy as the government vows to review the country’s “clogged” infrastructure pipeline.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine King said the 90-day review of the Infrastructure Investment Program was a chance to go back to the drawing board to ensure as many projects as possible could be rolled out.

The infrastructure pipeline is worth $120 billion and has 738 projects, 162 of which have a government commitment of $5 million or less, compared with 146 when Labor was last in government 10 years ago.

Ms King said cost overruns meant some projects previously announced by the coalition would not be able to be delivered.

Projects already announced in the budget or under construction would not be impacted by the review and Ms King said there was no target for how many projects would be cut.

“We have seen massive cost overruns, because again, the government previously did not do the work to actually make sure we had proper costings for these projects,” she said.

“They were interested in the announcement, interested in the media, interested in the electoral outcome, not interested in the actual delivery of infrastructure.”

Help us deliver more news by registering for our FREE daily news feed. All it requires is your name and email at the bottom of this article.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace has called on the community to fight for every inch of the Sunshine Coast Rail, which would bring passenger rail from Beerwah to Caloundra, Kawana and Maroochydore.

He said the viability of the 32km project would be at the mercy of the review.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace.

“The review is purely and simply a kite-flying exercise, it’s the Labor Government trying to warm people up to massive cuts in infrastructure and see what pushback happens,” Mr Wallace said.

“People on the Sunshine Coast should be very concerned that one of those cuts could be Sunshine Coast Rail and residents need to fight if they want the rail line to happen.”

Mr Wallace said that as the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games drew closer, investment in infrastructure was needed for the Sunshine Coast.

“We’ve been told the rail line will take at least eight years to build so indeed, there’s no time to waste,” he said.

“Putting aside the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032, we are going to have reportedly 500,000 people living on the Sunshine Coast by 2040.

“It beggars believe how the state and federal Labor governments think we are going to move people around the Sunshine Coast and to and from Brisbane without the necessary mass transit system required of any city in the world.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the review would ensure the infrastructure program remained sustainable.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“We want to make sure that the sort of disasters that have occurred, whereby projects that might have cost hundreds of millions of dollars, had yet $80 million or $50 million attached to them with no prospect of it being included,” he said on Monday.

“Projects were being announced with no consultation with state governments, with no state government funding, that couldn’t possibly be delivered.”

Ms King said the pipeline was clogged, with large delays on many of the infrastructure measures.

Nationals leader David Littleproud said the review would leave regional parts of the country at risk, warning of crucial projects being scrapped.

“You’ve got to ask the question about the sincerity of Catherine King in this government. This is about setting up a budget that regional Australia pay,” he told Sky News.

“If the road and rail infrastructure isn’t right and to get product from a paddock to your plate, or onto a ship, then the bills aren’t paid and your cost of living goes up.”

Red shows the proposed line from Beerwah to Caloundra and Maroochydore, and potentially the airport. Picture: Sunshine Coast Council

Opposition infrastructure spokeswoman Bridget McKenzie said the government’s “razor gangs” would cut important work.

“Continually cutting back on infrastructure projects will be a handbrake on economic growth and a barrier to driving national efficiencies needed to support budget repair and tackling inflation,” she said.

“At the very time when the government budget repair strategy should be to invest in productivity enhancing capital and cut back on unnecessary recurrent expenditure, Labor seem determined to do the opposite, dooming the nation to a slow and painful recovery.”

Australian Constructors Association chief executive Jon Davies said the review would lead to cancellation and deferrals on multiple builds.

“Delivery of infrastructure is not like a tap. It can’t simply be turned on and off,” he said.

“It is vital that industry is consulted in the review to avoid inflicting further pain on an industry that is already doing it tough as a result of having to absorb significant rises in material and labour costs.”

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.auYou must include your name and suburb.

[scn_go_back_button] Return Home

Subscribe to SCN’s daily news email

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.