Gold Coast Council has welcomed reports Canberra has set aside money for Stage 3A of the light rail, but the State Government has slammed the funding as inadequate.
Details of a $7.6 billion infrastructure package approved by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have been leaked to Newscorp showing a number of major road and rail projects in marginal seats across Australia.
It shows $112 million would be allocated as the Federal Government’s contribution to extend the light rail from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The projects were not supposed to be announced until the lead up to the next Federal election which isn’t likely to be held until May next year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports insisting any decisions on major infrastructure projects would be made by him.
Mayor Tom Tate says the news is great for the Gold Coast.
“All I say is it’s fantastic the Federal Government has come aboard this early in the piece,” Mayor Tate said.
“The three tiers of Government funding was crucial for Stage 1 and 2.”
Mayor Tate said Council is ready to chip in its fair share of funding as well with the State Government to pick up the rest of the tab.
“As far as the City of Gold Coast is concerned, we are committed to the same percentage and proportion of the funding we did for (stage) one and two.”
A preliminary business case has estimated the cost of building Stage 3A to be $670 million.
But the State Government has criticised the amount of funding from Canberra, accusing the Federal Government of short-changing the Gold Coast.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey described the amount as ‘paltry’.
“About 16 per cent is all they’re willing to contribute, that’s less than one in five dollars for the project,” Mr Bailey said.
“People on the Gold Coast have been ripped off by Canberra before on the M1, they’re being ripped off again not getting a fair deal on infrastructure, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
It comes as Transport and Main Roads release a new detailed video showing how Stage 3A could look.
The video shows there will be provisions for a future spur line at Pacific Ave in Miami which would allow an extension of the Light Rail to Robina, and another one at West Burleigh Rd which could see a line to Varsity Lakes.
The Minister says the final business case for Stage 3A will be completed by the end of the year.
“Clearly the light rail has been a huge success on the Gold Coast and we want to see it extended and for the Gold Coast to get the infrastructure it deserves.”