Council welcomes govt commitment to Hinterland Connect buses

THE Sunshine Coast Council has welcomed the State Government's public commitment to fully fund the Hinterland Connect bus service following an eight-year joint trial.

Since 2007, the council has part-funded the trial service via its Transport Levy with the current arrangements to conclude at the end of this month.

Transport Portfolio holder, division one Councillor Rick Baberowski, said after eight years of trials, he was glad the time had come for the State Government to accept full responsibility for Hinterland Connect after passenger numbers showed it was a valued and viable service.

"In the end, the provision of public transport is a State Government responsibility and we believe the lengthy trial, 50% funded by council, has shown it made good sense for this to become a permanent feature on the Coast's bus timetables," Cr Baberowski said.

"We flagged almost 12 months ago that we wanted the State Government to make this a permanent service at the end of the current trial period.

"We will be happy to receive the official confirmation of the news from the transport minister in the near-future.

"Council will now be able to direct the Transport Levy funds used for the trial to other very worthwhile transport projects for our Coast community.

"We would encourage all Hinterland residents to continue to show their support for Hinterland Connect in the future."

Division 5 councillor Jenny McKay said the trial had shown Hinterland Connect was a service needed and wanted by local residents.

"This was an initiative that the council started and passenger numbers have continued to grow," Cr McKay said.

"It deserves to be a permanent service provided by the State Government just like the others we have here on the Sunshine Coast."

The bus service provides transport between Maleny and Nambour.

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