Light Rail Stage 4 is a step closer to becoming a reality, with the project getting the support of the new Federal Government.
The extension to Coolangatta has been put on Infrastructure Australia’s priority project list, with the body describing the project as vital to easing traffic congestion in the southern part of the city.
“Increasing travel demand between the southern Gold Coast and northern Tweed Shire area will result in significant road congestion and poor journey reliability,” Infrastructure Australia said.
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“Addressing these problems and better connecting Coolangatta and the Tweed through road and public transport improvements are strategic priorities of Shaping SEQ, the regional plan for South East Queensland, as well as the NSW North Coast Regional Plan 2036.”
The listing of the extension as a ‘priority project’ is a massive boost, with Stage 4 now in line for Federal Funding.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has welcomed the move, which comes just months after he met with new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the Gold Coast.
“I would say it was worth having a beer with Albo before the election at Kurrawa Surf Club… that beer was well spent,” the Mayor joked.
“This underscores the fact that light rail is a single project, started in 2010 by all three tiers of government,” he continued.
“In 2010, it was agreed that light rail would go all the way to our airport (and Coolangatta) so it is effectively a single contract, being delivered in various stages.
“To see it listed on the Federal Government Infrastructure Priority List is fantastic news and gives us confidence that the detailed business case work underway now will deliver a world-class project for the next century.”
Earthworks for the already late Light Rail Stage 3 are about to begin, with that expected to be complete by 2025.
Mayor Tate said he’s hoping construction for Stage 4 will be able to start immediately after.
“That is the best way to achieve value-for-money for all three tiers of government,” he said.
“It will also ensure we have the network fully functioning in time for the 2032 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
“Maintaining our lifestyle means improving our public transport options for families, singles, retirees, students and visitors. Light rail is our major public transport spine”.