The Bruce Highway regularly becomes a car park after an accident
The Bruce Highway regularly becomes a car park after an accident John McCutcheon

Show us the money for highway and rail upgrades, Minister

ONE day after handing out $10 million for Brisbane's Cross River Rail and Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester will visit the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Chester, accompanied by Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace, will get to see firsthand one of the Bruce Hwy crash hotspots near Palmview.

Andrew Wallace at his new Federal MP Fisher office.
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace. Patrick Woods

The Federal Government announced a $929 million upgrade of the section of the road from the Caloundra Rd to Sunshine Mwy interchange in September, which includes this part.

Mr Chester will also get to see our antiquated rail system, which Rail Back on Track advocate Jeff Addison says hasn't had major work done on it since it was built in 1891.

Then he will go and visit Aura, the future home of 50,000 new people who will have to work around the Sunshine Coast's limited major infrastructure upgrades.

Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace hoped to impress upon the Minister the importance of the Bruce Hwy upgrade from Caloundra to Caboolture as well as the long-overdue duplication of the railway line.

And while rail is traditionally a State Government responsibility, Mr Wallace has the case to argue the Coast needs a share from the Federal Government.

"The Federal Government has shown it is inclined to fund those projects,” Mr Wallace said.

"It announced yesterday $10 million funding for the planning of Brisbane's Cross River Rail.

"It has given $95 million for the Gold Coast light rail stage two.

"It has given $583 million for the Moreton Rail Line.

"It has given $1.7 billion for the Sydney metro line and it has given $850 million for Melbourne metro.

"Clearly the Federal Government has shown it is prepared to fund rail project in cities.”

He said the upgrading of the Bruce Hwy was the "number one priority” for the Sunshine Coast.

But he didn't believe it was an "either or approach”.

"It is important we are looking at both. Any money poured into the duplication of the railway line has benefits for north Queensland, freight and commuters to Brisbane.”