The State Government is too busy building “Taj Mahal” stadiums instead of delivering the necessary infrastructure to transport visitors during the 2032 Olympic Games, Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said.
Last month, the state revealed a $1.7 billion blowout in the cost of rebuilding the Gabba to $2.7 billion, as well as a $1 billion stadium above Roma Street Station.
At the same time, it has refused to commit its 50 per cent share of $1.6bn with the federal government to building the Beerwah to Maroochydore rail line.
“The glaring black hole is the Queensland state government; they have not indicated that they are going to put one cent into this project,” Mr. Wallace said.
“We are offering to put in 50 per cent of the cost, and yet the state government is absolutely nowhere to be seen. They are more focused on building Taj Mahals at the Gabba than building infrastructure to be able to get all the people to venues that are going to be here on the Sunshine Coast.”
Mr Wallace highlighted that the Bruce Highway would not be suitable for transporting visitors to and from venues and accommodation between the coast and Brisbane during the 2032 Olympics.
“We are going to have basketball, soccer, sailing, road racing, and more that are going to be taking place here… and yet the state government seems to be oblivious about how they are going to move people up to the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
“Do they seriously think that they are going to put hundreds of thousands of people who are going to come and visit the Sunshine Coast during the Olympics on the Bruce Highway? They need to be investing in critical infrastructure. It’s all very well and good to be investing in sporting infrastructure… but we need heavy rail, we need the ability to move people around.”
Regardless of the incoming Olympics and Paralympics, Andrew said that with the influx of 130,000-140,000 people moving to the Sunshine Coast by 2040, the rail upgrade is still needed for the region.
“We are at bursting point on our roads, right here, right now… we need to think smarter about this, and the Queensland state government needs to pull its chequebook out and get serious,” he said.