The future of the light rail extension to Burleigh remains unclear this morning with the state government yet to reach a deal with the builders of the $700 million project.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey has admitted negotiations with the John Holland Group are still ongoing despite hopes heavy construction on the 6.7km line from Broadbeach to Burleigh would start early this year.
“The negotiations are normal after the contract is signed and they are ongoing and we’re trying to complete them as quickly as we can,” Minister Bailey told MyGC.com.au.
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“Because of the impact of the COVID pandemic and the very tight market out there because of the infrastructure boom, there will be an adjustment to the timetable.
“But the good news is we’re committed, as committed as we’ve ever been, to making sure the light rial is extended on the Gold Coast.
“It is critical to dealing with population growth and it has been an incredible success story to date.”
There are concerns the delays will see the expected 2023 completion date thrown out the window given it’s expected to take three years to complete.
Burleigh MP Michael Hart has claimed the delay could see the project blow out by as much as $100 million.
Minister Bailey refused to confirm how close the negotiations were to being wrapped up, only revealing the Department was seeking a resolution “as quickly as possible”.
“I’m hoping we can complete the negotiations as soon as possible,” Minister Bailey.
“But we do need to achieve value for money for taxpayers, we want safety on the job, we went quality local jobs, we don’t want a race to the bottom.”