LAST time Malcolm Turnbull took a ride on a Gold Coast tram he was the Minister for Communications.
On Sunday the new Prime Minister arrived at the Gold Coast University Hospital via the light rail, flanked by security and a hoard of local MPs as well as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mayor Tom Tate, to confirm the construction of Stage Two.
Canberra has promised a capped one-off grant of $95 million to construct the 7.3km link between the University Hospital tram stop and the Helensvale train station.
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Mr Turnbull described the linking of the light rail to the heavy rail as vital for the region.
“Public transport infrastructure like this is vital. It’s also a very key part of bringing this whole south east Queensland region together,” the PM said.
“We’ve been impressed by the preliminary business plan we’ve received. It looks very good, as it should, as this is filling in a missing link,” he added.
“Once this link is built, people will be able to get on the train in Brisbane, and then with one change to reach Surfers Paradise.”
“We have every expectation that this will be a terrific piece of infrastructure.”
Premier Palaszczuk congratulated Mr Turnbull on his cooperation with the other two tiers of government.
“I believe this is a new era of cooperation,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“What we are seeing is what happens when all levels of government work together to deliver vital public infrastructure for the best interest of the south east corner.”
“I congratulate the Prime Minister and the Mayor for coming to the party to make sure this second stage goes ahead.”
City of Gold Coast has already committed $55 million to the project, with Queensland to foot the remainder of the bill.
Stage two is due to be completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and connect five competition venues to accommodation and public transport interchanges.