Qld government comes to the table with $351m funding for light rail

The state government has announced a $351 million contribution for stage 3A of the light rail.

After months and months of tension between the state and federal governments, the state has finally put a figure out there, but is still demanding the federal government chip in more.

The $351 million is about half the cost of the 3A stage, which is understood to cost around $709 million.


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The Palaszczuk Government is now calling on the feds to up the ante on their pledge of $112 million, which they’ve stood firm on since before the election earlier this year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is expected to meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday, to ask that the federal government upgrade their investment from $112 million to $269 million.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey says he’s optimistic the federal government will give the Gold Coast a good deal.

“They’re very keen for projects to start, and of course this light rail 3A is ready to go.

“The money’s agreed to, the preparation work and the detailed design has been done and we’re ready to rock and roll.

“So I’m optimistic we will get a good deal,” Minister Bailey told myGC.

Local MP Meaghan Scanlon says it’s disappointing that the federal government hasn’t yet put in their fair share.

“We did the business case with council who have also tipped in money for this build.

“Unfortunately the Federal Government’s commitment of only 16% falls well short of a fair funding agreement and is just not good enough for the people of Gold Coast,” Ms Scanlon said in a Facebook post.

Transport Minister says the announcement of the state government’s contribution will hopefully increase pressure on the federal government.

“We saw a very underwhelming contribution from the federal government of only 16 percent, so we want them to up their offer to make it viable.

“Clearly they haven’t done that to this point, so we’re increasing the pressure on them to get this project funded.

“Light rail one and two only happened because of Labor governments, and this third stage will happen because of Labor governments as well,” Minister Bailey told myGC.

Work could get underway as soon as next year, if a deal can be struck quick.

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Funding is one matter, it’s the design of 3A that should concern us the most.

In a departure from the stop spacings of Stage 1 which Stage 3A adjoins, there are too many stops between Broadbeach and Burleigh.

This will result in an average speed lower than neighbourhoods of similar density in Stage 1.

Eventually, it will mean a very slow journey to/from the airport. Frustrating for locals and a poor first impression for visitors.

With its exclusive corridor and traffic signal priority, the Gold Coast light rail should be on par if not faster than the express bus from Broadbeach to the airport, the 777. Unfortunately, current plans for Stage 3A will be much slower.

The Gold Coast needs to demand better from both levels of government for a better designed Stage 3A that will be an efficient light rail rather than the current snail’s pace. A faster travel time with more efficient design may attract more funding.