MP Peter Wellington.
MP Peter Wellington.

LNP MPs aiming for rail upgrade

FIVE sitting LNP members of Parliament and one candidate have ventured into the heart of the only Sunshine Coast electorate the party does not hold to pledge their support for duplication of the rail line between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

The "LNP six" fronted up in blue shirts for a media conference yesterday morning at Centenary Square, Nambour, virtually opposite the office of independent sitting member for Nicklin Peter Wellington.

They announced they would work as a team for the much-needed public transport improvement.

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson rated duplication of the rail line as the team's "No.1 priority".

But the commitment by Ms Simpson, and members for Glass House, Andrew Powell, Caloundra, Mark McArdle, Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie and Buderim, Steve Dickson, and LNP candidate for Nicklin Matt Trace fell short of a promise.

They said they would "fight" and "lobby" for the duplication and the LNP was the only party with a plan to fund infrastructure - by leasing assets - but had no funding allocation or timeline for it.

When asked what had been done about duplicating the rail line while they had been in government during the past three years, they blamed the hangover of Labor's debt.

"We inherited $80 billion of Labor debt. We have one plan that will create the funds, that will create the infrastructure," Ms Simpson said.

"I'm confident that when we can work together as a team. We can deliver this."

Mr Wellington said duplication of the rail line was one of the first issues he raised with Premier Campbell Newman and Transport Minister Scott Emerson when the LNP was elected "and they didn't want to know about it".

Mr Wellington said if the LNP was "fair dinkum" about duplicating the rail line, it should put money on the table that could be matched by the Federal Government to get the project going.


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