LABOR has announced it will build three new train stations on the Gold Coast to service the city’s growing population and take pressure off the M1.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said if re-elected, her Government would build the new stations at Pimpama, Helensvale North and Worongary/Merrimac to improve public transport in growth hot spots.
Each station is expected to cost $40 million and construction will not start until at least 2021 with trains not expected to begin stopping at the stations until 2023.
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Ms Palaszczuk said the three stations will only happen in conjunction with the Cross River Rail project.
“These three new stations will mean more Gold Coast residents can benefit from the 3,150 extra peak hour seats on the Gold Coast line under Cross River Rail, helping to take pressure off the M1 as well,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Better public transport is critical for the Gold Coast, with the population expected to grow by an extra 350,000 residents over the next 25 years – taking the population to almost 1 million people.
“These three new stations will only happen with Cross River Rail – a critical infrastructure project my government has fully funded.
“Tim Nicholls and the LNP have made it clear they do not support Cross River Rail, which means these three new stations will be cut and there will be more congestion on the M1.
“The choice at this election is clear – a stable government that delivers key infrastructure and plans for the future, or an LNP-One Nation coalition of chaos and indecision.”
The Premier said $3 million will be made available for detailed planning and design of the new stations from next year.
Candidate for Coomera Christopher Johnson said a new station at Pimpama would benefit thousands of Gold Coasters.
“This is fantastic news for our local community,” Mr Johnson said.
“The Gold Coast is growing rapidly and only Labor will build the right public transport infrastructure to take the pressure off our local roads and crucially the M1.”
Candidate for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said a new station at Worongary/Merrimac was a “no-brainer”.
The Cross River Rail project will add an extra 3,150 peak seats to the Gold Coast line and is expected to slash the travel time from the Gold Coast to the southern side of Brisbane’s CBD by 15 minutes.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has committed $25 million to control weeds and pests in rural areas as part of his agricultural policy.
Mr Nicholls said the money would be spent on cluster fencing, baiting programs for wild dogs, spraying of invasive weeds and infrastructure.