'This is huge': Six-lane Bruce Hwy from Coast to Brisbane
A MASSIVE Bruce Hwy windfall has been secured with the Pine Rivers to Caloundra Rd section of the national highway securing $536.4 million in upgrades.
It's believed the funding, as part of an 80/20 Federal-State split, will deliver a six-lane Bruce Hwy from Brisbane through to the Sunshine Mwy interchange.
The lion's share of the $844 million allocated to the national road link as part of the Turnbull Government's $75 billion, 10-year infrastructure funding and financing commitment was delivered in last night's 2017-18 Budget by Treasurer Scott Morrison.
The funding comes on the back of $1 billion already secured for the Caloundra Rd to Sunshine Mwy stretch.
Fisher MP Andrew Wallace said it was a "fantastic budget" for the region and emphasised the enormity of the commitment to the Bruce Hwy south of Caloundra.
"That is huge, absolutely huge," he said.
"The infrastructure is an enormous win for the Sunshine Coast," Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien said.
Mr O'Brien said he understood additional lanes would be created between the Bribie Island Interchange and Caloundra Rd exit.
"The Sunshine Coast has won on this," Mr O'Brien said.
Mr Wallace called on the State Government to fast-track its planning studies of the stretch to ensure upgrade works could kick off as soon as possible.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was yet to get across the details of the Budget, but was hopeful the funding would be spent to benefit the Coast.
"It's a start," he said.
He was encouraged by the Budget overall.
"It seems like it's a spending Budget," he said.
But uncertainty remains about the future of the North Coast Rail Line duplication.
The Federal Government has promised to deliver $600 million over two years from 2019-20 as part of its $10 billion National Rail Program.
Twenty million dollars has been committed to in 2017-18 to support business case development of rail connections between major cities and regional centres, with the Government to provide up to 50% of funding for development of three business cases selected after Infrastructure Australia assessed submissions.
Mr Morrison identified other projects including Brisbane Metro, Brisbane's Cross River Rail and the Western Sydney Airport Rail link as having potential for support.
While business cases for the North Coast line have already been developed, the project is still seeking funding commitments which appeared to have gone south.
Mr Wallace and Mr O'Brien said they were ready to advocate for the North Coast line, but needed the State Government to make a commitment.
"We can't do it on our own," Mr Wallace said.
Meanwhile Mr O'Brien said he was confident of the $250,000 needed to fund a business case to bring ashore a sub-sea broadband cable on the Coast being delivered "sooner rather than later" despite it not appearing as a line item in last night's Budget.
He said there was "no doubt" of the Federal Government's commitment to the funding and said it was subject to a final sign-off which he expected to happen soon.
"I see no roadblocks," he said.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was disappointed to hear the Budget hadn't locked the funding in, but admitted it wasn't a "large line item in the scheme of things" and he remained committed to working with the Federal Government to have the funding delivered.
Mr O'Brien added the extension for another 12 months of the up to-$20,000 immediate asset write-off for small businesses was another big win for the Coast.