Stage two of Gold Coast light rail on track for Commonwealth Games

Media Release

PF008/2015

10 October 2015

Joint release with:

The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP

Prime Minister

The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

Premier of Queensland

Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 will be delivered in time for the Commonwealth Games with all three levels of Government committed to fund the extension.

Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the funding agreement on the Gold Coast for the vital infrastructure project, which will support more than 1000 jobs during construction.

Prime Minister Turnbull said the Federal Government has committed $95 million towards Stage 2.

“Construction of Stage 2 of Gold Coast Light Rail will provide the missing link from the Gold Coast to Brisbane,” the Prime Minister said.

“This project is vital for the Commonwealth Games transport task. It connects five competition venues and nine events to accommodation and public transport interchanges.”

As congestion increases on the Pacific Motorway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, the efficiency of the rail system and its mass transit capabilities become increasingly important for the region beyond the Commonwealth Games.

Ms Palaszczuk welcomed the funding commitment from the Commonwealth and said with support secured Stage 2 can now be built in time for the Commonwealth Games.

“I congratulate the Prime Minister Mr Turnbull for committing funding support to help deliver Stage 2 of Gold Coast Light Rail,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Once the Commonwealth was provided with the Business case, the Prime Minister prioritised the decision to fund this infrastructure which will be critical to the success of the Games.

“With this announcement from the Commonwealth and the $55 million funding commitment from the Council, all three levels of Government are now on board to deliver this legacy project for Queensland.

“This funding commitment from all three levels of government is an investment in the success of the Commonwealth Games and the Gold Coast's future. The new line will connect the Coast to Brisbane and complement an impressive pipeline of new resorts and attractions already in train.”

Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Paul Fletcher MP welcomed the announcement and said the Gold Coast Light Rail would play an important role in making the Gold Coast more connected and productive as it prepares to host the Commonwealth Games.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport said now a funding agreement has been secured with the Commonwealth the Queensland Government will be in a position to appoint a preferred contractor in early 2016 following the conclusion of the Request for Tender phase on 23 December 2015.

“Light rail has become the backbone of the public transport network and Stage 1 has driven a 25 percent increase in public transport patronage on the Gold Coast in the first year alone,” Ms Trad.

“Gold Coast Light Rail is a transformative piece of infrastructure and Stage 2 will continue to change the way people move and get around the Gold Coast,” Ms Trad said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the funding agreement showed the value of all three tiers of Government working together.

“This announcement is a historic day for our city and will ensure this vital second stage of the light rail completed before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games," Mr Tate said.

“Gold Coast Light Rail patronage continues to exceed expectations, with an average of more than 18,200 trips made on Gold Coast Light Rail each day.”

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has identified savings within its existing budget to allow for a State Government contribution to this project with no new spending required over the forward estimates.

The expression of interest process was completed in September, with six national and international consortia vying to construct the proposed 7.3 kilometre light rail alignment from the Helensvale heavy rail station and bus interchange to connect with Stage 1 at the Gold Coast University Hospital light rail station.