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Land banked for sport and rec remains in limbo amid rail corridor uncertainty

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Sunshine Coast Council says it is investigating the feasibility and costs of developing land that was earmarked for sport and rec 10 years ago.

Council bought more than 100 hectares off Diddilibah Road at Woombye in early 2014 but nothing has happened there since, despite the land being labelled the Nambour Woombye Sports Precinct on Google Maps.

Councillor Winston Johnston told Sunshine Coast News that council essentially acquired the gently undulating area in case existing sports grounds made way for a proposed rail upgrade.

“This land was purchased by council when we believed that some Woombye sporting facilities would be resumed for the rail duplication,” he said.

“The parcel of future recreational land is currently land banked until council receives confirmation that the (existing) sports facilities are to be resumed.

“Design plans and costs of development have yet to be programmed.”

Some of the land off Diddilibah Road. Picture: Steele Taylor

A council spokesperson said two lots (totalling 107 hectares, or 264 acres) were acquired a decade ago and council was considering their future.

“These parcels of land were purchased by council for $2.28 million for future sport and recreation purposes,” they said.

“Council is investigating the feasibility and costs of developing the sites.”

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In 2014, then-councillor Greg Rogerson said about 40 hectares would be developed for sports grounds and 67 hectares would provide opportunities for informal sports, active recreation and conservation areas.

There have been long-term plans for a rail upgrade from Beerburrum to Nambour.

A map of public transport plans, including the B2N Rail Upgrade, in orange.

Early works for Stage 1 of the upgrade, from Beerburrum to Beerwah, have started but cost estimates for the project have blown out from $550.8 million to $1.004 billion.

The future of Stage 2 of the upgrade, from Beerwah to Nambour, is more clouded, with little funding commitment or timeline.

The Nambour Men’s Shed, which is based beside the tracks just south of Nambour Station, was told by the state government to find a new home.

Meanwhile, a park ‘n’ ride was last year opened near Nambour Station.

SCN asked TMR whether the rail upgrade could affect schools or sport and rec facilities that are close to the line between Beerwah and Nambour, and if there were plans to utilise land that is currently used by sports and rec clubs.

A majority of the cleared land in the centre of this image has been set aside for future sports and rec use. Picture: Nearmap

A department spokesperson said it was unclear what the future held for the area.

“Any possible property impacts between Beerwah and Nambour would be determined in future phases of the project. However, funding has not been committed to progress this past the initial planning,” they said.

The sport and rec grounds off Back Woombye Road – home to the Woombye Snakes Football Club and the Woombye Scout Group – are close to the rail line.

The Nambour and Districts Netball Association courts are also relatively close to the line.

The new park ‘n’ ride at Nambour. Picture: Steele Taylor

The spokesperson said Stage 2 of the upgrade would be investigated as part of a $6.25 million duplication study, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

“This study will assess options to improve operations, efficiency, accessibility to rail services and meet future freight needs,” they said.

They said the entire B2N Upgrade would bring significant benefits.

“Once complete the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade will increase capacity, improve reliability and reduce travel times for passengers and freight in the growing Sunshine Coast region,” they said.

The aerial imagery in this story is from Australian location intelligence company Nearmap. The company provides government organisations, architectural, construction and engineering firms, and other companies with easy, instant access to high-resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, artificial intelligence data sets, and geospatial tools to assist with urban planning, monitoring and development projects in Australia, New Zealand and North America.

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