28 October 2016

Translink: Share the Love with Noosa

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes has called upon Translink to share the love with Noosa, and review the adequacy of existing bus services from Noosa central to the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital, just as it has done for Nambour, Kawana and Caloundra communities.

“I have been working closely with Noosa Councillor Ingrid Jackson and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service to ask that Noosa be given the same consideration as other Sunshine Coast communities in the lead up to the opening of the $1.8 billion facility scheduled for April next year.

“Along with Ingrid, I congratulate Translink on the comprehensive reviews that have recently taken place south of the Maroochy River but the Sunshine Coast does not end there. I urge Translink and their planners to recognise that the community of interest for the Sunshine Coast Health Hub at Birtinya extends to the Noosa region and beyond.

“In fact I would go as far as to caution Translink and Queensland Health that unless they apply the same amount of common sense and pre-emptive thinking to Noosa, there will be a large community of patients, carers, friends and relatives without access to affordable transport to benefit from the state-of-the-art hospital and out-patient services.”

Cr Jackson said Translink was beginning to take into account the interests of the people of the Noosa Shire and she hoped this would translate into better transport services.

“With the relocation of many specialised medical services from Nambour to further south, this adds an extra burden for those people who must rely on public transport for their access,” she said.

Mr Elmes said, “Unless you have a well-designed road network (which we haven’t) and public transport services that access the hospital efficiently and frequently (which we haven’t) then you have negligently and unfairly isolated pockets of communities from infrastructure, in this case the hospital, which they are entitled to use.

“At the very least people living in the Noosa Electorate, which includes Peregian Springs, Eumundi and Doonan should have access to a direct service from Noosa to the new hospital; and if not possible in the first instance then improvements must be made to the existing route 620, which takes one hour to get from Noosa to Maroochydore.

“Whilst I am pleased the wait time to change services at Maroochydore to the Hospital has been reduced by 10 minutes, and indeed the trip from Maroochydore to the Hospital has been reduced, even with these small improvements, people travelling from Noosa to visit loved ones in hospital, or who themselves need to access day procedures or attend review appointments, will travel three and a half hours on four different buses each day they visit.

“I call upon Translink to engage with the people of Noosa as they have with our southern counterparts and seek their input into service improvements as a matter of urgency - well before the Hospital opens and the problem becomes the headline instead of the solution.,” Mr Elmes said.