PRIME Minister Malcom Turnbull will fly to the Gold Coast today where he will give the second stage of the city’s light rail the official go-ahead after the Federal Government put forward $95 million to see the vital infrastructure built in time for the Commonwealth Games.
Prime Minister Turnbull says his Government was happy to commit the vital funding needed to complete the 7.3 kilometre extension which is set to support more than 1000 jobs during construction.
“Construction of Stage 2 of Gold Coast Light Rail will provide the missing link from the Gold Coast to Brisbane,” the Prime Minister said.
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“This project is vital for the Commonwealth Games transport task. It connects five competition venues and nine events to accommodation and public transport interchanges.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the announcement, confirming with the support of the Federal Government, Stage Two would now be built in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“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.”
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.”
It’s understood the State 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.
The expression of interest process was completed in September, with six national and international consortia vying to construct the “missing link”.