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100% Locally Owned, Independent and Free

Your say: mass transit options, beach car park, cafe petition, funding cuts and more

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Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

So, we are now down to two options, bus rapid transit or light rail.

The people have already rejected light rail so why is it still on the table? Apparently, our opinions count for nothing.

Both options will remove lanes from the Nicklin Way corridor. So, we will have more cars packed into fewer lanes, and empty bus/rail lanes for 99 per cent of the time.

And there is the biggest joke. The bus will carry 150 passengers (with 64 seated and 86 standing). The train will carry 222 people (74 seated and 148 standing). If either option ever carries more than 20 people at a time I will be amazed.

We don’t want either of these options. We certainly don’t need either of these options. What we need are alternative routes for cars to take the pressure off of existing roads.

Will we ever get it? Not a chance while the council continues its love affair with impractical rapid transport options and starts to take notice of the ratepayers who elect them.

Ron Duggleby, Little Mountain

The five options for public transport have been whittled down to two: a rapid bus and a light rail.

I’ve watched the light rail installation on the Gold Coast and all the problems that have eventuated – disruption to vehicle movements and destruction of businesses. Why TMR would wish to proceed with installing a train corridor with overhead wires is beyond me.

Dennis Archer, Minyama

Let me clarify that I don’t know enough to speak intelligently about this but that has never hindered me from voicing an opinion. Probably that is indicative of why there is so much division and intransigence in moving forward.

The two options – light rail or designated bus lanes and corridors – seem like they should come down to cost and efficiency, but a view towards the future is imperative as well.

Will we have clean energy for rail? Will there be alternative fuels like hydrogen for buses? Which can accommodate moving more humans as we increase population on the Coast?

My bias is towards rail coordinated with other lines heading south to Brisbane, the airport and beyond, but moving people between Maroochydore and Caloundra with the university as an important destination is also important.

As I said, I haven’t the depth of knowledge or experience to make the decision. I hope our elected representatives do.

Jeff Tuttle, Caloundra

Interesting to note that council believes revenue from passengers will cover costs of this exercise. They didn’t get it right with the Brisbane Road car park so why would we expect a better outcome from these options?

Remember this when you vote for council next year. It’s your money they are playing with.

John Hunt, Forest Glen

I fully support the council’s plan for the Mooloolaba foreshore upgrade.

We have been residents of Mooloolaba for the past 10 years and over that time we have witnessed increased hooning and parking road rage during all hours of the day and night on the Beach Terrace car park. We have often had to call police late at night to remove people using Beach Terrace car park as a racetrack. We have also witnessed arguments and physical abuse by people over the limited carparks available.

We’ve all had the opportunity to comment on the planned upgrade and the public consultation that was available for everyone who was interested was very extensive and detailed. I don’t understand those who now say the council hasn’t been transparent with their proposal. There has been ample opportunity to register people’s interest.

I also disagree with those who say the multi-storey car park is too far from the beach. I’ve measured the distance and it’s no further than the Beach Terrace car park to the Mooloolaba Beach flagged area.

The planned foreshore upgrade will enable people to park in a safe and protected environment in the multi-storey car park, while providing much greater access to the beach and all that Mooloolaba Beach has to offer, for everyone to enjoy, not just those who presently overstay their beachfront parking. Most importantly, the upgrade will provide a much more family-friendly and safe environment for everyone, day and night.

Glen Steed, Mooloolaba

Just curious to know, out of the 3000 people surveyed, how many were actually ratepayers of the Sunshine Coast and how many were just tourists?

Greg Martin

This car park is perfect for my three family members who have limited mobility. As it is, everyone can have an uninterrupted view of the ocean in pleasant circumstances.

And please, no form of local rail here. It would be horrific in a fabulous, relaxed setting.

Jeanine Campbell, Buderim

I’m very much in favour of the removal of the beachfront parking. That space is better utilised for people and parks, not cars and car parking.

The new plans for the area will improve Mooloolaba for all. There does need to be some provision for handicapped parking, and I feel there needs to be some improvement for better access from the multi-storey car park through to the beachfront area.

Randall Carter, Mooloolaba

What a ridiculous plan/idea to remove the front car parking spaces. We do not require more parkland, more so-called tourists, more jetties into our iconic bay. You are destroying what we are here for: the joy and beauty of the area.

How does one go from a high-rise car park with four children, surfboards, picnic basket and a wheelchair to walk on the beach and have a swim? Not everyone can afford to live or holiday in high-rise flats and eat at restaurants, so get ‘real’ council and those so-called planners. You have already taken away so much that shop owners and businesses are suffering from a lack of locals shopping, and staff problems as well.

I for one come to walk on the beach morning and evening, parking next to the sand and surf. Truly, that is the magic of the area.

No wonder people are moving away to more natural places. Reconsider this horrendous plan: leave it well alone.

Jan Jones, Buderim

I appreciate that the council is trying to make the beach accessible for all but the proposal for the car park is in direct opposition to this.

Imagine carrying beach gear for a family with toddlers in hand from the multi-storey car park. Imagine an elderly person who wants to sit on the beach struggling from the multi-storey car park, not to mention someone with disabilities. The recent development of the caravan park is beautiful and now there is plenty of shared space along the beach, and what about all the shared space on the beach?

As a resident of the area, I don’t want the car park removed and I know that I am not the only resident who feels this way. The council needs to listen to the residents on this issue. The mayor may be retiring but what about all the other councillors? They need to make a stand on this and support the residents.

Janelle Hynes, Maroochydore

Another case of council doing their own thing, no matter anyone else’s opinion.

If more thought had been put into the multi-level parking in the first place, more people may use it. The entry and exit are like narrow tunnels. Couldn’t the engineers have added more to the width? I for one won’t be using it a second time.

It seems to be the way parking at shopping centres has gone as well: narrow, tight corners for cars to enter and exit. Why aren’t they also better designed? Some places are nightmares to park in, like Birtinya, Chemist Warehouse Caloundra and the outside parking at Kawana.

Sandra, Currimundi

It is beyond belief that after over 35-plus years of discussions, the government has now halted funding for the railway to the Sunshine Coast.

Government is responsible for infrastructure and for these 35-plus years we have seen total government incompetence and wasting of taxpayers’ money. We are supposed to be a First World nation but what we have experienced puts us behind many undeveloped countries.

Look at the new rail lines around Sydney and just see what Thailand has achieved in Bangkok with the Skytrain and underground.

At present, the main North Coast Line is being duplicated as far as Beerwah and I think, under pressure, the governments – federal and state – will then build the Maroochydore branch line initially as far as Caloundra South.

Years ago, the duplication to Nambour was estimated at $2 billion-plus so that was never going to happen.

If the tracks are at capacity you would see trains queued at every passing loop and that is certainly not the case.

When you look at how the state government has spent millions of dollars on the Caloundra Road-Bruce Highway intersection and Maroochydore Road-Bruce Highway intersection, the results are decades out of date. Globally, traffic lights were outdated at such major road intersections decades ago.

Take a look at the plan for the Mooloolah River Interchange and work out how you go from Nicklin Way at Kawana if you want to go south to the Sunshine Motorway. You will see you have to go to Bundilla and through yet more traffic lights. You really have to question the department’s staff experience and competence overall.

With new rail builds, we are aware that the department made mistakes with the signaling on the Redcliffe line and the government also claim that the new trains built in India were not built correctly.

Obviously, Bombardier built the new trains to specification provided by the Queensland Government.

I think the time has come when the public have to question if indeed the state department (Transport and Main Roads) has the experience to build the new railway line and major road works.

In railway building terms the line from Beerwah to Maroochydore is an easy build with fairly easy gradients and just a few bridges, with no tunnels or long viaducts to build.

Yet again the government is spending millions of dollars on still more appraisals, so in the 35-plus years the cost of the appraisals would almost have paid for the line through to Maroochydore. So where to with these appraisals now the project funding is on hold?

I am not sure how, but residents of the Coast must pressure state and federal governments to immediately fund the Beerwah to Maroochydore line. Plus, have battery-operated buses connecting local suburbs with trains at every station.

Remember, originally the Maroochydore line was going to be operational in 2001.

Ken Coulter, Ilkley

I am appalled that they haven’t committed to the building of this railway.

We have a clogged road system that we have to use if we wish to visit Brisbane. You cannot get back in the evening to Caloundra as there are no late buses to connect to the train station at Landsborough (the trains only run every hour and a half).

We are growing faster than any other area and expecting Olympic events on the Sunshine Coast. It is stupid not to invest in a train system when the Bruce Highway is getting worse all the time. Are we just ignored because we didn’t vote for the Labor Government?

Amalendu Edelsten, Caloundra 

Just another example of bureaucracy quashing small business initiative in favour of their ‘plan’.

The enterprise is obviously successful and very popular, causing no disruption or inconvenience to the local population and passing motorists.

Surely a simple amendment to the ‘plan’ to allow the business to continue the coffee and refreshment service would be the best solution.

Brian Coyle, Sippy Downs

What better future for Caloundra?

The federal government has announced it is withdrawing funding from the Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade project, citing that there are projects that don’t demonstrate merit and meet the Australian Government’s investment priorities. This might seem like a blow to Caloundra, but maybe it’s the prompt we needed to have one last hard look at this project.

A common catchcry on the Sunshine Coast is that we don’t want to be like the Gold Coast. I’ve just spent a few days in Southport and I’m wondering what it is about the Gold Coast that offends us. The foreshore areas with bike paths, coffee shops and parklands are lovely. Precincts around the light rail stations are great places to walk and filled with interesting little shops and restaurants. The skyscrapers don’t stand out in my experience, and their suburbs don’t seem vastly different to ours.

The thing that I didn’t like about the Gold Coast was the roads. There’s a busy highway between the town and the beach. It’s wide, noisy, smelly and scary. Many roads through town centres are also terribly wide. It’s hard to enjoy walking around so much asphalt, and you spend a whole lot of time standing at corners waiting to crossroads.

This seems to be a main point of difference between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. Many roads on the Gold Coast dominate the surrounding land area and take the joy out of moving. In contrast, many sections of the Sunshine Coast have been spared this asphalt domination. In areas like Coolum our council has even invested in narrowing roads and slowing them down to improve liveability of the precinct.

Caloundra and many of the small villages around the Coast have a particular advantage on this front. These towns weren’t planned around everyone moving in cars. They assumed people would need to be able to walk places. As a result, we have schools, sports facilities and a bushland park all within walking distance of the CBD.

However, all that doesn’t address the issue that prompted the CTCU project. The road congestion at the Nicklin Way and Caloundra Road roundabout disrupts vehicle travel to Caloundra and makes a frightening entry for anyone coming by bike or the bus stops near the police station and soccer fields.

There are limited ways into Caloundra and people are forced to choose between Caloundra Road or the northern suburb of Dicky Beach. Providing another access to Caloundra makes sense. Council and TMR flagged future connections through Ben Bennett Park (near the powerline easement) and at Queen Street near the golf course several years ago. This is an appropriate response, provided neither of the new road connections are overdesigned to encourage an unmanageable flood of vehicles into one area. Contrary to what council claims, concentrating 20,000 vehicles through the Oval Avenue precinct each day will not improve safety for active transport and particularly the many school children who will need to cross this road.

The current project that is planned for Caloundra provides for an incomprehensible and implausible amount of cars in our CBD. It rightly assumes that more people will want to live in this area. However, it wrongly assumes that these people will use their cars to do most of their daily trips. The vision for this area should be that we protect our green spaces at all cost, improve our walking and cycling facilities, improve our public transport and welcome more people into this pocket of the Coast where transport is affordable and sustainable. At the same time, we should carefully plan to improve vehicle access into Caloundra, ensuring we don’t overdo it.

Prue Oswin, Caloundra

I find it interesting that the federal government says that it is the fault of the previous government for costing way too many projects for which the current budget can cope with.

Just maybe we did have the funding – maybe they have given it all up for a war in Europe.

So, the next time someone dies in a crash on the Sunny Coast interchange, maybe we’ll can add their names to the list of fallen in Ukraine after the war, because that will be our true cost.

John Coney, Mountain Creek

Twelve months ago, I read a coffee outlet owner in Brisbane was on the brink of closing because they could not secure staff. A customer suggested they advertise for seniors. All good now, received multiple applications from folks who had recently become redundant or were retirees wanting to work part-time. Food for thought.

Jeff Rumble, Parrearra

I recently visited the new Sunshine Coast City Hall in Maroochydore and came away with the impression of a soulless, heartless $100 million ‘Ivory Tower’.

It bristles with security systems, cameras everywhere and a glassed security screened reception area, reminding me of a bank or prison. I do wonder what the ‘inhabitants’ of this place are afraid of; they created the society they are now obviously protecting themselves from. The outside ‘draped’ in greenery, an obvious apology for the destruction of more important green space, will eventually all die, become an eyesore and have to be removed at great expense to the Sunshine Coast ratepayer.

The inside scattered with Aboriginal art in an attempt to hide our ‘colonial shame’ makes no effort to reflect the proud pioneering past of this community, no acknowledgement of the blood, sweat and tears of our dedicated, hardworking farmers, builders and others. It appears that the previous pioneers are expunged from conscience; we appear to have cringed away like a mongrel dog, tail between our legs, heads down, hiding from our ‘wrongdoing’.

Maybe the designers and inhabitants could do with a visit to Bankfoot House, one of our Sunshine Coast heritage buildings, or perhaps the fantastic Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba?

Geoff Clarke, Sippy Downs

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

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