Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A: More money needed for tram link after ALP backed Burleigh extension: Gold Coast Bulletin
  Richard Youl

ANDREW POTTS, Gold Coast Bulletin
March 12, 2019 12:00am
FEDERAL Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s $112 million for the Gold Coast light rail to get to Burleigh Heads has left local political leaders disappointed.

Mr Shorten yesterday flew into the Gold Coast to campaign, with the Bulletinrevealing he would match the Coalition’s budgeted funding for the 6.4km Stage 3A tram extension from Broadbeach South.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten visiting the Gold Coast at Helensvale light rail station. Picture Glenn Hampson

It ensured the tram extension would go ahead no matter who wins the May election but according to Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey is half the federal funding needed and it left something to be desired.

Mr Bailey, who criticised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his earlier identical commitment, said more funds were needed.

“We would have liked a larger federal commitment for Stage 3A,” he said.

Queensland, Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey. (AAP Image/Darren England)

“Federal Labor provided 38 per cent of the cost to fund stage one of light rail while $112m that has been committed by the major parties for light rail Stage 3A is about 16 per cent, so there is a pattern of declining support there.


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“Light rail has been a huge success for the Gold Coast and the passenger numbers and support from locals and tourists show that.

“We will continue to work with whoever gets the top job in Canberra to make sure the Gold Coast gets a fair funding deal for light rail,” Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said the state’s funding would “depend on final funding decisions” from the Federal Government and the City of Gold Coast.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Picture: Jerad Williams

Mayor Tom Tate yesterday echoed Mr Bailey: “It is important to have bipartisan support for Stage 3A but I would say Bill should have trumped the Liberals and gone up harder to make them match it but that’s Canberra politics.

“Council has been putting money away and our intention is we will fund the same percentage of stage 1 and 2 – 11 per cent.

“Why wait? The people of the Gold Coast would like it to commence and show a willingness that Stage 3A is a three-tier support model.”

Flashback: Gold Coast Light Rail

Flashback: Gold Coast Light Rail
State Government city council have both vowed to fund the public transport link but are yet to commit.

Council is expected to chip in $66m-$72m while the Palaszczuk Government will provide the remainder through its underwriting of tram operator GoldLinQ..

But Mr Shorten hit back and said he was committed to seeing the tram extended not just to Burleigh but onto the airport with the proposed Stage 3B.

“We are matching what the Government has said but we have the runs on the board,” he said.


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Opposition leader Bill Shorten, visiting the Gold Coast at Helensvale light rail station today, with ALP candidates for Gold coast seats .From left, Tracey Bell, Bill Shorten, Luz Stanton, Aaron Santelises. Picture Glenn Hampson
“Obviously once we have done Stage 3A then stage 3B comes on the table. The ideal path would be to see it go down to the airport but let’s do the next stage.”

Mr Shorten met with commuters and candidates at Helensvale light rail station before catching the tram south to Southport.

Stage 3A will include eight new stations, upgraded pedestrian and cycling facilities and an upgraded bus interchange at Burleigh Heads.

It is expected to create 2400 jobs during construction and up to 39 per year once operational.

Once operational by 2023 it will take travellers 16 minutes to go from the Broadbeach South Station to Burleigh Heads North.