Transport has been the discussion point of the month with some significant announcements. Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester announced the Sunshine Coast Airport’s designation as an International Airport. Congratulations to General Manager Peter Pallot and Sunshine Coast Regional Council. The economic boost from direct Air New Zealand flights over the last 5 years has been well documented circa $150m and now this announcement opens Sunshine Coast up to more destinations. New Zealand is also the second highest source of Sunshine Coast migrants – they like what they see! The Airport Expansion Project will also create the opportunity for connectivity north and increased international ports.
In addition, significant roads announcements of $929m Caloundra Rd and Sunshine Motorway interchanges as well as $187m Maroochydore Rd Interchange indicate Federal and State commitment to transport infrastructure. However, the list of needs is long. As a community we need to consider our own commitment to solving for congestion and how we can reduce our “transport congestion footprint”. Can you take public transport instead of driving? Can you bike instead of drive? As Sunshine Coast continues to grow we need to adopt innovative solutions as well as modal migration to public and active transport. Sunshine Coast Regional Council has developed It’s Sustainable Transport Strategy 2011 – 2031 which is available on its website. Many of the strategies can be applied across communities.
So I should practice what I preach. I own 2 cars, but do I need them? Or is it only a convenience? This month I will lock up one and use public transport where I can – thus reducing my footprint by 50%. I will report back next month.