The biggest public infrastructure project in more than a generation for South East Queensland’s Moreton Bay has been completed, with the opening of the new Redcliffe Peninsula rail line.
The Redcliffe Peninsula Line was formerly known as the Moreton Bay Rail Link during construction, before officially changing its name in early September 2016.
The project is part of a $1.2 billion program of public transport improvements for the Moreton Bay Region which includes the $988 million Redcliffe Peninsula rail line, the $37.5 million Rothwell Intersection Upgrade, and the $139 million Lawnton to Petrie Rail Upgrade Project.
Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said the project had created 800 jobs during construction and was a vital investment in the local community.
“The Moreton Bay region is home to more than 375,000 people and the population is expected to exceed 500,000 within 15 years,” Mr Turnbull said.
“This rail line will attract new business investment in the area, provide better connectivity between key activity centres and remove approximately 600 cars from the local road network for every full train.”
Mr Turnbull said the rail line would see some commuters switch from private vehicles to public transport, which will reduce congestion on the local road network.
“The project has delivered a 12.6km dual track passenger rail line between Petrie and Kippa-Ring along with six new stations,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The Federal Government is currently investing more than $13 billion in Queensland infrastructure, as part of a $50 billion infrastructure investment program nationwide.”
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the new rail line will be transformational for the region, especially for suburbs adjacent to the rail line.
“This project is not just an investment in this region, it is an investment in Queensland’s economy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The new rail line will deliver more than 650 train services a week between Kippa-Ring and Brisbane, with trains running every six to 12 minutes in morning and afternoon peaks, and every 30 minutes in off-peak periods and during weekends.
“Importantly, it better connects the local community to the wider SEQ network and brings the Brisbane CBD and other destinations closer.
“Realistically, someone could jump on a train here in Kippa Ring and use our public transport network to visit the beaches of Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the investment in the Moreton Bay Rail Line was part of the Queensland Government’s infrastructure program which is worth $40 billion over four years.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor, Allan Sutherland, said after more than 100 years in the making, it was hard to believe the Redcliffe Peninsula Line was finally here.
“The Redcliffe Peninsula Line and new bus network will completely transform our region from this day forward, taking thousands of cars off the roads and better connecting our residents with employment and education opportunities,” Mr Sutherland said.
“Thanks in part to this major investment, the Moreton Bay region is now one of Australia’s fastest growing urban areas, with Queensland’s strongest economy.
“We’re already seeing incredible growth across our region as a result of this transformative project, with the number of businesses, residents, new development and investment along the rail corridor increasing at rapid rates.
“We’re looking forward to the continued growth this rail line is expected to unlock, including the vital role it will play in driving forward other major projects for our region like the new university precinct adjacent to Petrie station – ‘The Mill at Moreton Bay’.”
Mr Sutherland said the 460 hectare development will promote real opportunities for transit oriented development and large-scale public transport use, as well as cater for up to 20,000 university students and 6,000 new jobs by 2036.