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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Brisbane Airport rail link to go ahead

    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Thursday, February 11, 1999

    Brisbane Airport rail link to go ahead

    The State Government has finalised arrangements for a privately-funded $200 million rail line to link Brisbane's central business district with the international and domestic airport terminals by 2001, Premier Peter Beattie announced today.

    "An airport-city train link is essential if Brisbane is going to rank as a major international city and I congratulate all those who have played a part in making this link a reality," said Mr Beattie.

    "Such a link is one of the few assets that Brisbane has been lacking and I am proud that once again we are demonstrating that Queensland is the action state. We're making things happen."

    Making the announcement with the Premier were Airtrain Citylink Limited Chair James Cutts, Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer and Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley.

    "This multi-million dollar rail link will bring enormous economic, employment and public transport benefits to Brisbane," said Mr Beattie.

    "We expect the project to provide the equivalent of more than 500 full-time jobs during the 27-month design and construction period."

    Mr Bredhauer said the link was a great boost for public transport in South-East Queensland, where it was important to promote public transport as a viable alternative to using cars.

    "One of the best ways to successfully improve public transport usage is to provide infrastructure providing reliable, comfortable and easy travel such as the new rail link," he said. "It is significant that the project has attracted private funding because it shows the private sector has the confidence to invest in public infrastructure in Queensland."

    Mr Cutts said it would take just over two years to build the link, with construction due to start later this year. Design work would start this month.

    Airtrain would build 8.5 km of new rail, linking the existing Queensland Rail network near Toombul to the Airport, said Mr Cutts.

    Most of the link would be elevated and feature two stations - one at the international terminal, the other at the domestic terminal.

    Passengers would be travelling to the Airport by train by mid-2001, Mr Cutts said.

    "Services will run directly from the Airport to the City and to the Gold Coast by linking into the Citytrain network run by Queensland Rail," Mr Cutts said.

    Mr Beattie said the State Government had finalised agreement on the basis that Airtrain would build and operate the rail link to the airport at the company's expense.

    The project had been approved on the basis that Airtrain would pay for the project in return for the right to operate the rail link for 35 years.

    After 35 years, it would be turned over to the State Government.

    Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley said Brisbane City Council had played a key role in bringing Airtrain to fruition.

    "Council, as a major land holder along the route, gave the project full support because we recognised the significant benefits of Airtrain to the city," Cr Soorley said.

    "We receive a valuable rail corridor for residents and tourists linking the city and the Gold Coast to the airport," he said.

    "At the same time it will help reduce traffic congestion and assist in maintaining our city's air quality," Cr Soorley said.

    Contact: Steve Bishop (07) 3225 4500; Harry Williams (07) 3237 1949