Travel time to cut in half from Wide Bay to QLD cities
IMAGINE being able to travel from Hervey Bay to Brisbane in as little as two hours.
The LNP are currently in the process of progressing a business case for a Southeast Queensland Very Fast Train network which would link the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay.
A commute between the Fraser Coast and Brisbane on the proposed train network would only be two hours.
Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen, said the discussion surrounding a Very Fast Train was a "step in the right direction".
"Fast trains would facilitate significant economic growth in our region, with the increased benefits that the connectivity would bring," he said.
Mr Sorensen said it would provide Queenslanders with a variety of options rather than limiting where they choose to live and work.
"It would also address the mounting congestion in our major cities, housing affordability and labour force mobility in Queensland," Mr Sorensen said.
"Many countries have fast trains - Japan and China and many others throughout Europe.
"Why shouldn't we keep up with the rest of the world?"
It was in 1993 when the Hervey Bay railway line between Maryborough and Urangan was closed and since then no new railway services have been introduced.
The railway line has since been converted into the pedestrian friendly Link Mobility Corridor which connects the Urangan Pier to Nikenbah.
Today, 19 services run from Maryborough West to Brisbane train station a week with economy class tickets for adults $75 and children and seniors $37.50, a business/premium class tickets for adults $99 and children and seniors $49.50 while students receive 40% off.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls said such a plan would not only make the lengthy commutes between destinations shorter, it would also create job opportunities across the south-east from Bundaberg to the border.
"This is all about creating jobs, securing current jobs and congestion busting for decades to come," he said.
"I know the frustration Queenslanders feel stuck in traffic or without reliable, clean and fast public transport (and) if we don't plan properly, we will all be stuck in traffic crawls for decades to come."
The business case is expected to be complete by mid-2018 and will then be made public for Queenslanders to decide whether they want to jump on board or miss the stop.
"This means you could live and play on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts for example but work in the Brisbane CBD and travel time would only be 30 minutes away," Mr Nicholls said.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Infrastructure Minister, Deb Frecklington, said the network would ease congestion on the Pacific Motorway and Bruce Highway.
Such a change would mean a quicker commute for those travelling on these roads.
A glimpse into the history of the Urangan Railway line.
1896- The Hervey Bay railway between Pialba and Maryborough opens.
1913- Railway line is extended to Urangan.
1917- Construction of the Urangan Pier is completed and railway line is extended.
1993- Railway line closes Pialba to Urangan.
1998- The railway station, now used as a booking office for travellers, was turned around to face the new Freedom Park and the Cenotaph.
1992- Council purchases land from State government for $1 million for preservation and to convert into the railway line into a pedestrian friendly mobility corridor.
2003- The Vietnam Veterans Association takes over the station which is used to help and support war veterans.