The Queensland and Gold Coast governments will jointly fund the business case for stage four of the Gold Coast Light Rail line.
Stage four, previously known as stage 3B, would see the light rail line extended for 13 kilometres from Burleigh to the Gold Coast Airport at Tugun, at the southern tip of the Gold Coast.
The $7 million business case would be funded in a 50/50 split between the state and local governments, said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“This business case will support the next critical steps needed to push major transport investments on the Gold Coast forward which is vital for Queensland’s economic recovery,” the Premier said.
“This is about building a pipeline of projects that can continue to support and create jobs, boost our economy and improve transport for locals, particularly those living on the southern end of the Gold Coast.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said that the connection would provide the public transport backbone for the region.
“It will result in a 40km public transport spine linking key employment, transport, health and education nodes, with an opportunity to also connect with the growing northern New South Wales economic region,” he said.
As part of the business case, options for future spur lines on east-west corridors will be investigated, and whether these should be served by light rail or feeder buses.
Currently, the Gold Coast light rail ends at Broadbeach. Stage 3A, which would extend the line from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads, is awaiting the final announcement of the chosen contractor to build the link. In February, three contractors were shortlisted, John Holland, a joint venture between Fulton Hogan and UGL, and a joint venture between CPB Contractors and Seymour Whyte Constructions. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.
Tate said that he hopes construction of stage four would begin once stage three is complete.
“Ideally we will finish Stage 3 and immediately break ground on Stage 4.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the community preferred an alignment which travelled down the Gold Coast Highway. Other options suggested taking the light rail line west and using the existing heavy rail corridor, however 87 per cent of local respondents wanted to retain the option of future heavy rail to the airport.