Mayor highlights airport project benefits after Turnbull visit

MAYOR Mark Jamieson has urged residents to look very closely at the commitments being made by both major parties after PM Malcolm Turnbull refused to guarantee federal funding for the upgrade of the Sunshine Coast Airport, earlier today.

During a press conference at Sunshine Coast Show in Nambour earlier today Mr Turnbull bumbled his way through a simple question on whether or not his government would provide a $180 million loan to the council in order to get the airport project off the ground.

When asked why Townsville had received $150 million for a rail corridor but the Sunshine Coast hadn't been given a straightforward loan Mr Turnbull said the idea was under consideration.

"Well, well - we will make announcements about other infrastructure projects in the course of the campaign but I can assure you that we have a commitment, we are putting a record amount of money into infrastructure across Australia," Mr Turnbull said.

"We have over $50 billion in our infrastructure program and that doesn't include the money that's been spent to roll out the NBN.

"So thank you for raising it but it is a, it's an issue, it's a question that obviously we will address between now and the election."

Mayor Mark Jamieson said he would press the point that the Townsville funding was a straight out investment while his council was only asking for a loan - at a meeting with the PM while he was on the Coast.

"The loan will bring a $4.1 billion benefit not only to tourism on the Sunshine Coast but it's also very important for freight," Cr Jamieson said.

"It will open up channels to key Asian cities, letting us export produce from areas as far north as Bundaberg straight into those markets.

"And our estimate is about $1 billion of that money will end up back in federal coffers."

When asked if the Turnbull Government was taking the Coast for granted - the Airport is in the Fairfax electorate which is presently held by Clive Palmer but is widely expected to return to the LNP at this election - Cr Jamieson had a straightforward message.

"Ultimately I'd be saying to voters on the Sunshine Coast look very carefully at the commitments that have been made by both major parties - I don't think we've seen a lot from either of them at this point,"

*A previous headline read "Malcolm Turnbull visits Coast cops Mayor's scorn". This was not an accurate reflection of Mayor Mark Jamieson's comments.

UPDATE: PM Malcolm Turnbull has dodged questions around funding a crucial upgrade for Sunshine Coast Airport during a press conference at the Nambour Show. 

Despite the fact a recent survey conducted by the Sunshine Coast Daily showed an overwhelming majority of Coast residents support the project, the PM refused to say if his government would stump up Federal funds which could well prove crucial in getting it off the ground. 

 

"Well this is a, it's an important proposal and it's certainly one that is being considered - as you know we have a very strong commitment to regional infrastructure - it's certainly under consideration," Mr Turnbull said.

It was then pointed out that the government had given $150 million to a rail freight corridor in Townsville and the Sunshine Coast Council was only asking for a $180 million concessional loan - but Townsville is considered a more marginal electorate.

"Well, well - we will make announcements about other infrastructure projects in the course of the campaign but I can assure you that we have a commitment, we are putting a record amount of money into infrastructure across Australia.

"We have over $50 billion in our infrastructure program and that doesn't include the money that's been spent to roll out the NBN.

"So thank you for raising it but it is a, it's an issue, it's a question that obviously we will address between now and the election."

 

EARLIER: WELL it is a beautiful spot for a stroll.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife Lucy have been spotted taking a morning stroll at Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast, ahead of another busy day of campaigning.
 


Mr Turnbull will no doubt make a few public appearances through the day, in an effort to spruik not just his election campaign, but to give some limelight to LNP candidates Ted O'Brien -- who was defeated by Clive Palmer at the last election -- and Andrew Wallace who will replace outgoing MP Mal Brough for the seat of Fisher.
 

The PM started the day by visiting Nambour Show with a funding announcement expected shortly. 

 

He was met at the gate by Mr O'Brien.

As he ventured through the show, meeting voters, the Prime Minister pause

d to help Lucy buy a stockman hat.

Last night the PM was on Bribie Island where he spoke at the Sandstone Point Hotel. 
 


Mr Turnbull is expected to discuss a $5 million promise for a community sporting hub and $100,000 towards a clubhouse for large rowboats.


No doubt the Sunshine Coast community will be hoping for Mr Turnbull to give a view on the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport and at least some hint as to whether there are funds available to upgrade parts of the Bruce Highway.

MORE TO COME
 


Dedicated owner keeps car in pristine condition

Dedicated owner keeps car in pristine condition

The car is a fixture of the family and something to bond over.

Community to celebrate the long haul

Community to celebrate the long haul

Committee members are calling all to come and celebrate 70 years.

Miss Show Girl enjoys bringing people together

Miss Show Girl enjoys bringing people together

Get to know Bridget Webster.

Local Partners