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POWELL MEDIA RELEASE – New Minister delivers same old bad news (23 March 2011)

On the back of adverse changes to the Sunshine Coast rail timetable for 2011 and the continual delays to complete the rail duplication from Beerburrum to Nambour, Andrew Powell MP, Member for Glass House sponsored two petitions calling the government to action.

Yesterday, the Minister for Transport tabled her responses (see http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/EPetitions_QLD/ClosedEPetitions.aspx?LIndex=2).

“All of the promises to deliver additional rail capacity along the North Coast line have been stalled by the incompletion of the rail duplication.  You can’t deliver faster and more efficient trains when the job has only been half done.

“Effectively the Minister, in her response to the petition, has ‘programmed’ delivery of the Landsborough to Nambour rail upgrade for completion in 2031 – she tells us it is ‘on the horizon’.

“What this demonstrates is that the government can give no guarantees the upgrade will even be completed by 2031”, Mr Powell said.

Mr Powell also tabled a petition calling on the government to keep the North Coast line rail timetable unchanged. 

“I have the majority of the Sunshine Coast rail stations in my electorate and the proposed changes will have an enormous impact on Glass House residents, not to mention the greater Sunshine Coast population.

“Some of the proposed changes to the timetable will add an additional two hours to the existing four hour commute that Sunshine Coast rail travellers face. 

“In her response, all the Minister tells us is that the new timetable will come into affect on 6 June 2011.  Cold comfort to the many that signed this petition and gave feedback to Translink”, Mr Powell concluded.

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