Priority listing builds case for continuing Gold Coast light rail
Published Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 at 06:00 PM
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey
Building the next stage of Gold Coast’s light rail from Broadbeach to Burleigh has become a national priority.
Infrastructure Australia added light rail Stage 3a to its priority list this week, adding pressure on the Morrison Government to properly fund the project.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the only thing standing in the way of the 6.7km light rail line extension was the lack of fair funding from Canberra.
“Stage 3a has officially been endorsed as a national priority by Australia’s foremost independent infrastructure authority,” Mr Bailey said.
“Infrastructure Australia says we need to provide more transport options for the 26,000 people who will live in this part of the Gold Coast by 2041.
“Stage 3a will help us do that, and the Palaszczuk Government has committed $351 million to it.
“The City of Gold Coast is ready with its share too, but so far all we’ve seen from the Morrison Government is a lacklustre $112 million.
“That’s less than half of the $269.5 million contribution we think is fair, based on the Federal Government’s payment towards stage one of light rail, which covered 38 per cent of the project’s total cost.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging him to boost federal support for the Gold Coast.
“Locking in funding to get this project going will mean more jobs for the Gold Coast, not just during construction, but also longer term jobs to support light rail operations,” Mr Bailey said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has locked in funding for Cross River Rail without a single cent from the Federal Government because we know it's needed to transform south east Queensland’s public transport network.
“The Federal LNP and Queensland LNP have shown no interest in funding Cross River Rail, so knowing they won’t contribute funding for that should make it easier for them to properly fund other projects like light rail on the Gold Coast.
“Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said next month he will announce the list of projects the Morrison Government will bring forward funding for from its national infrastructure program.
“Why does the Gold Coast, or indeed any other part of Queensland, have to wait until then to find out if the Morrison Government has deemed them worthy of receiving funding now, instead of 2021 or beyond?
“We can start building the next stage of light rail next year, we just need to know the Morrison Government is serious about backing the Gold Coast.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering $23 billion over four years for Queensland roads and infrastructure projects, a works program that will support 21,500 jobs.
Media contact: Toby Walker – 0439 347 875