The State Government and Council have announced plans for a business case for Stage 4 of the light rail to Coolangatta.
The $7 million plan will also explore other transport options to link up with the city’s west including Robina and Nerang.
That could include light rail spur lines or rapid bus routes.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Announcing the plan in Broadbeach, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says “The light rail is going to Burleigh and today I’m very pleased that with the cooperation of the council, we are now planning the business case for Stage 4 for Burleigh, going to Coolangatta via the airport,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This will be the completion of the light rail, everyone on the Gold Coast loves the light rail, I love the light rail.
“This is about planning for the Gold Coast’s future.”
Transport Minister Mark Bailey says they want to get a head start on plans for Stage 4, so it is shovel-ready once the extension to Burleigh is finished.
“The question is, once this stage 3 that’s underway is complete in 2023, what after that?” Mr Bailey said.
“Well today is a really exciting announcement so that when we come to 2023, we’re in a perfect position to extend light rail to Coolangatta to the airport.”
Mayor Tom Tate says stage 4 will be an important addition to the Gold Coast’s transport network.
“I look forward to the consultation and I have to say, hats off to the Palaszczuk government to recognise that this transport infrastructure is really a key element to keep our linear city like the Gold Coast moving,” Mayor Tate said.
Both the government and council now face a battle over the route of stage 4, with strong opposition from residents in Palm Beach who don’t want light rail through their suburb.
But Mr Bailey has made it clear that the Gold Coast Highway is the preferred route.
“Whatever route that we choose you will never get 100 per cent of people agreeing to that particular route, but what we saw in the intermodal study, the majority of people wanted it along the Gold Coast Highway.”
The Premier said the final route will be whatever is most efficient, playing down concerns from residents.
“People had concerns about light rail from day one but as you can see, it brings so many benefits that I think once people see it built they actually embrace it and it’s a great way to travel.”