Nicholls 'deadly serious' about Fast Train plan
QUEENSLAND'S LNP leader Tim Nicholls has assured Fraser Coast residents he is "deadly serious” about a Very Fast Train network connecting Wide Bay to Brisbane after locals expressed their doubts.
"We're proposing to spend $2.5 million investigating the route and how it could be built and financed,” Mr Nicholls said.
"We have to start somewhere.”
The LNP are currently progressing a business case for the plan, which would connect the Wide Bay and Brisbane with a train commute of just two hours.
Chronicle reader John Kelly wouldn't have a bar of it saying, "How gullible are we expected to be?”
Mr Nicholls said meticulous planning was essential and discussions with experts and engineers would soon begin allowing for a better understanding of the cost and length of time needed for the project.
"I wrote to the Prime Minister back in May suggesting the idea because they have funds available in the federal budget,” he said.
"We're serious about starting the investigation or kicking the ball off so we can understand the route, the time frame and the cost and we obviously need proper planning in order to do that.”
Another reader Gus Warde agreed the idea would be beneficial but he struggled to believe it would go ahead.
"Oh really I think we will all be dead a buried before this actually happens. It's a great idea though giving a alternative to long distance road travel and a cheaper alternative to flying,” he said.
David John Burns seemed to think the news was just another publicity stunt to increase votes for the next election.
"Every time an election comes round the major political party's start saying there going to do this and that. Just another pipe dream that most likely be 40 years before anyone of us see it.”
There were, however, positive words spoken from Michelle Galbraith who commented "What a great idea. I'd rather travel to Brisbane by the train instead of being on the roads. To many idiots on the roads now.”
Kerryl Jones agreed saying "Brilliant news. Especially for hospital visits.”
In a bid to reassure residents of the Fraser Coast that the plan was not a joke, Mr Nicholls said the plan was "deadly serious” adding it was important to plan for the future.
"The benefits of being able to travel from the Fraser Coast to Brisbane in less than two hours are too big to ignore,” he said.
"We need to open up the regions for travel, for work and investment to support jobs and create new jobs.
If approved, Mr Nicholls said the plan would support existing employment by allowing people to move around from different cities more quickly.
"During the investigation more jobs will be created as we engage experts for advice and it will create thousands of jobs during construction,” he said.
The business case is set to be complete by mid-2018 and Queenslanders will then have the opportunity to have their say.