Passenger Rail

Push for Gold Coast funding after priority listing

Tram leaving Broadwater Parklands on the Gold Coast Light Rail

Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey says the listing of the next stage of light rail for the Gold Coast as a ‘priority project’ by Infrastructure Australia proves it justifies more funding from the federal government.

The Morrison Government has committed just $112 million to Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A, just 16 per cent of the overall estimated cost of the project.

The Queensland government thinks the Commonwealth should provide almost double that, $269.5 million, to match the 38 per cent funding share it provided for the first stage of light rail on the Gold Coast.

Stage 3A will extend light rail 6.7-kilometres south from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads, with eight new light rail stops.

Earlier this month Infrastructure Australia approved the new stage as a priority project, green-lighting it for substantial federal funding.

“Infrastructure Australia says we need to provide more transport options for the 26,000 people who will live in this part of the Gold Coast by 2041,” Bailey said on September 10.

“Stage 3a will help us do that, and the Palaszczuk Government has committed $351 million to it. The City of Gold Coast is ready with its share too, but so far all we’ve seen from the Morrison Government is a lacklustre $112 million.”

Queensland’s Palaszczuk Government has opted to fund the Cross River Rail project without Commonwealth help, after Infrastructure Australia refused to provide priority project status and the Coalition used that fact to justify not providing any funding.

“Knowing they won’t contribute funding for [Cross River Rail] should make it easier for them to properly fund other projects like light rail on the Gold Coast,” Bailey said.

“Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said next month he will announce the list of projects the Morrison Government will bring forward funding for from its national infrastructure program.

“Why does the Gold Coast, or indeed any other part of Queensland, have to wait until then to find out if the Morrison Government has deemed them worthy of receiving funding now, instead of 2021 or beyond?”