Roads needed now, not later

Member for Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie, has slammed the Palaszczuk Government for scrapping vital road infrastructure projects to support the delivery of the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (“SCPUH”).

Due to open in 2016, Mr Bleijie said the existing road network around the SCPUH remains completely inadequate and will not cope with the increased capacity.

“What we now have is a $1.8B health precinct without any proposed upgrade to the existing road infrastructure. This is simply unacceptable and must be immediately addressed by Annastacia Palaszczuk.”

Mr Bleijie said when in Government, the LNP proposed $400M worth of road projects to ease congestion and plan for the future. This included the Mooloolah River Interchange project which was finalised this year by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“One of the first acts of the Palaszczuk Government was to immediately axe this project and both the Premier and her Minister have failed to provide an alternate plan.”

Mr Bleijie said that up to 50 homes have already been resumed and the planning stage completed for the project.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Ministers are shutting down important infrastructure projects all around the state, with no foresight or regard to what this means for local jobs and the economy.

“This project would have been a catalyst for job creation on the Coast as well delivering upon the critical road infrastructure we need to support the continued growth of the region.”

The Mooloolah River Interchange project includes a new direct connection to the $1.8B SCPUH via a new two lane arterial road and would better connect Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore, acting to reduce congestion on Nicklin Way.

“Without an upgrade to the existing road network we will see hugely increased congestion on Nicklin Way, Kawana Way and the Sunshine Motorway.

“Buses, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, patients, local residents and general motorists will all be sharing the same, single lane, road space to access the Hospital.

Mr Bleijie is concerned that the Labor Government’s approach of “do-nothing” will mean patients and motorists may be forced to endure months of road works after the SCPUH has opened its doors to the public.

“We can’t be in a position where once the Hospital opens, our roads are overwhelmed, and the Government is forced to react.

“That would mean months and months of roadworks after the Hospital opens, with thousands of people trying to access the hospital.

“This Government must act now, to ensure the road infrastructure is completed before the Hospital opens to improve safety, efficiency and road capacity in and around the Kawana Health Precinct.

“It could be the difference between a life saved or lost.”

[ENDS] 22 September 2015