QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to see the detail of Coast fast train proposal.
QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to see the detail of Coast fast train proposal. DAN PELED

Premier to see PM on rail proposal

A PROPOSED high-speed rail link to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane would be a key point of discussion at the first 2018 meeting of Council of Australia Governments to be held in February, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared.

Ms Palaszczuk said yesterday she would sit down with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the early February meeting to discuss the proposal announced this week by Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien.

The federal parliamentarian revealed he had pulled together a consortium including Stockland, Smec, Urbis and KPMG as well as 26 Queensland federal members of parliament to deliver fast rail with 160-220km/h trains to Nambour within five years and a heavy rail spur from Beerwah into Maroochydore via Caloundra within 10 years.

Ms Palaszczuk said the proposal to establish a 45-minute rail link to Brisbane would cost a significant amount of money, but her government had still to see any of the detail.

The Premier said she did not believe the proposal was possible without the Cross River Rail project her government was fully funding in Brisbane.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey would meet with his federal counterpart to get to the detail of what was proposed.

"Queenslanders deserve to know the detail," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Nambour to Beerburrum duplication was currently with Infrastructure Australia. That is a key priority of my government. I think everyone would love to have a fast train. But the reality is they cost billions of billions of dollars."

The Premier said the proposal for duplication of the Beerburrum to Nambour line was currently with Infrastructure Australia and Queensland funding would be considered ahead of the budget in June.

"We saw how they played politics with Cross River Rail. Hopefully they will not play play politics with the Nambour to Beerburrum line," she said.

The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland has backed the plan, which would deliver a high-speed rail service to Nambour within five years and a heavy rail link to Maroochydore within ten years.

"We love it," RACQ communication manager Paul Turner said. "I'm excited because for once it might happen."

He said RACQ's research showed motorists would choose rail if it was fast and reliable. The falling out between the state and federal governments over Cross River Rail meant the Turnbull government had money it would have put to that project to allocate elsewhere.

Private sector involvement could reap a return through things like retail and commercial outlets at railway stations without adding to commuter costs.

But Mr Turner said state and federal cooperation would be needed to ultimately link the line to Cross River Rail to ensure a fast train went all the way to the CBD.

"Our research tells us motorists will look to rail if there is a reliable fast service," Mr Turner said.

Rail Back on Track advocate Jeff Addison said he was confident the total project's cost benefit would exceed the $4.57 billion in output generation to the Queensland economy that previous business cases had shown would be delivered by rail duplication from Landsborough to Nambour.

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