Planning has started on a proposed extension of the Gold Coast light rail system in Queensland following its success during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said he was encouraged by Gold Coast light rail’s ‘heavy lifting’ during the 2018 games.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s decision to complete stage two of the light rail was critical to the success of the Games,” Mr Bailey said.
“The tram network carried almost 100,000 passengers a day, nearly four times the normal daily average.
“This would not have been possible without our unwavering commitment to this project and the fact we built it in record time.”
Mr Bailey said the time was now right to investigate the further extension of the tram line.
“The Palaszczuk Government is leading the development of a jointly-funded business case in partnership with the City of Gold Coast, with each contributing $5 million towards its cost,” he said.
“It makes sense to plan now for this vital project, which will enhance the lifestyle and economic opportunities for the Gold Coast.
“Light rail was designed to be delivered in stages to respond to the city’s growth, and the first two stages of light rail have proven it to be a viable alternative to using the car.”
Mr Bailey said he expected the detailed business case for the next stage would be considered by the government early 2019.
“The preferred extension runs about seven kilometres down the centre of the Gold Coast Highway between the Broadbeach South light rail station and Burleigh Heads.
“This will include up to eight new stations, however final alignment and station locations have yet to be decided.”
Planning will include consultation with the community in the second half of 2018.
Acting Gold Coast Mayor, Donna Gates, said local firm Bennett and Bennett had started survey to locate and identify underground services and map the reference alignment.
Several surveying teams will be out on different parts of the corridor over the coming months with the survey results to be used in the detailed business case to help decide engineering design, station locations and replacement, upgrading or relocation of underground services.
Mr Bailey said planning further south on the Gold Coast Highway was also underway.
“We are in the early stages of reviewing the existing transport corridor south of Burleigh Heads to ensure it meets future requirements.
“This study will consider all transport modes – walking, cycling, driving and public transport, including the potential for a further extension of the light rail system.”