Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a major $351 million commitment to get the next stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail on track.
Stage 3A would extend the route by seven kilometres from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads and include eight new train stations.
It’s expected to create more than 760 jobs during construction.
“We’re all aboard, our funding is now on the table,” the Premier said.
“All we need now is for the Federal Government to get onboard too.”
In a recent meeting with the Prime Minister, the Premier said she expressed how important the next stage of Gold Coast Light Rail was and that a fair funding deal was essential to getting this project going as soon as possible.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia has called on the Morrison Government to boost infrastructure spending to support the national economy,” she said.
“Mr Morrison wants shovel ready projects to fund, we’ve got shovel ready projects galore.
“$709 million is needed to build Stage 3A. What I’ve announced today is nearly half that amount.
“Currently the $112 million (or 16 per cent) the Federal Government has committed falls well short of a fair funding agreement and is just not good enough for the people of Gold Coast.
“What we’re asking the Morrison Government to do is commit $269 million to the project which is the same proportion funding arrangement (38 per cent) they invested in Stage 1.
“I’ll be taking this up again with him again on Friday when he’s in Queensland for COAG.
“This next stage is vital to creating even more jobs, connecting the southern Gold Coast to the rest of the line and getting even more people onto public transport.
“If we get shovels in the ground as soon as possible it will take around 3 years to build Stage 3A, with the possibility of trams operating to Burleigh Heads in 2023.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the announcement comes just two and a half weeks after G:link celebrated five years since its first service.
“Since then more than 42 million passengers have jumped onboard the ‘G’ making it a star performer of south east Queensland’s public transport system,” Mr Bailey said.
“When we hosted the Commonwealth Games, more than one million tram trips were taken.
“It’s proven itself as not only a huge positive for locals, but also for the tourism industry, with visitors from across the world getting onboard.
“Not only has Gold Coast Light Rail revolutionised public transport on the coast it’s also been a major job-creating project which is great boost for the local economy.
“I know Mayor Tate is committed to getting this project built, and the City of the Gold Coast has committed to providing its fair share.
“If we can get a fair deal from Canberra, we can get on with it.
“The first two stages have supported more than 1000 local jobs during construction with around 200 operational jobs associated with the ongoing running of light rail.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said Gold Coast Light Rail was a Labor legacy.
“Stage 1 was kickstarted by funding from the Bligh Labor Government in 2009, and the Palaszczuk Labor Government built Stage 2 in 18 months so it would be ready for the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
“We’re now full steam ahead on Stage 3A.
“Every single LNP member on the Gold Coast should be imploring Scott Morrison to do the right thing and fairly fund this important project to help connect the people of the Gold Coast better, create jobs and increase public transport usage.”
Stage 1 – The Federal Government committed 38 per cent of total costs.
Stage 2 – The Federal Government pledged 22 per cent of total costs.
Stage 3A – The Federal Government has committed just 16 per cent of total costs.