Sunshine Coast Council has released its 2017/18 Transport Levy Annual Report, which focuses on improving our connectivity today and achieving better strategic transport outcomes for our healthy, smart creative region.
The report, endorsed by council at its September Ordinary Meeting (September 13), outlines how the levy was applied in 2017/18 and helps council plan for the future transport needs of one of Australia’s fastest growing regions as we grow by a further 200,000 residents over the next two decades.
Transport Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the Transport Futures Fund was a critical element of the Transport Levy structure as it provided a platform for council to encourage other tiers of government to invest in strategic transport initiatives for the region.
“Public transport on the Sunshine Coast is a State Government responsibility, pure and simple,” Cr Baberowski said.
“However, the Sunshine Coast Council knows that public transport solutions – and how we get around our growing region – is a key issue for our residents and our council.
“In 2017/18, a significant portion of the Transport Levy funding, – totalling more than $4.2 million – was allocated to the Transport Futures Fund.
“This funding, which would not be available otherwise, will help to facilitate projects and initiatives aimed at achieving major, long term, multi-modal infrastructure outcomes.
“This includes the planning for the Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project, which is a key focus of the Transport Futures Fund at this time.
“The Transport Levy also helps keep our hinterland residents connected, supporting the Conondale to Maleny, via Witta, and Peachester to Beerwah Flexilink services, providing an important and affordable link to town centres and transport services,” Cr Baberowski said.
“In addition, Council Link services are growing in popularity, with our senior and less mobile residents and is helping 300 passengers a week stay connected to their communities.”
In the past 12 months, council also upgraded 17 bus stops, improving disability access at these locations.
Cr Baberowski said the council would continue to use the Transport Levy funds for:
- the continued planning for a better and integrated public transport solution for the region, with a focus on Light Rail
- the delivery of important council-run services for our community such as Council Link and the Flexilink trials
- the continuation of bus stop upgrades to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act requirements
- and research into travel behaviour change opportunities for implementation.
“Council will also continue our strong advocacy efforts with the other tiers of government to ensure the Sunshine Coast secures the public transport investment commitments that this region so desperately needs,” he said.
Visit council’s website for more details.