GC light rail tenders

Gold Coast light rail stage two goes to tender as fresh funding possibilities come to light

Tenders are now being sought for stage two of the Gold Coast light rail project, which will see the tramway extended to reach Helensvale Bus Interchange and railway station.

New light rail stations will be constructed at Helensvale, Parkwood and Parkwood East and include an extra 1,400 park and ride carparks at Helensvale and Parkwood stations.

The Gold Coast light rail service opened on July 20 last year and racked up more than more than 6.5 million passenger trips in its first year alone.

 "Since submitting Queensland’s detailed funding submission to the Commonwealth, we have had very positive discussions with representatives from the Turnbull Government," Queensland minister for transport Jackie Trad says.

"There is now a genuine willingness to progress this vital infrastructure project.

"The Queensland Government now has the confidence to move Gold Coast light rail stage two to the next stage of the procurement process, which is the formal request for tender."

Although she doesn’t yet have an agreement with the Federal Government, Trad believes the Queensland Government is very close to securing a contribution that would allow it to be built in time for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

"We already have strong support for the project from the City of Gold Coast, who have committed $55 million in cash and $3.5 million in-kind support, and promising signals from the Commonwealth which enable us to take this next step," Trad says.

Federal minister for infrastructure and regional development Warren Truss is similarly confident in the ability of the Queensland and Federal Government to reach a compromise.

"Since receiving the business case we have been in a position to explore the opportunities and discuss the options with the Queensland Government," Truss says.

"I am confident that armed with the relevant information we can now move to reach a positive outcome quickly.

"The Australian Government is already investing more than $13 billion to build the modern transport infrastructure Queensland needs for the 21st century and we are committed to ensuring projects deliver the long-term gains the community expects."   

The move follows the completion of an expression of interest process in September, with six national and international consortia competing to construct the 7.3 kilometre light rail line.

"I applaud the state and reiterate Council’s $55 million commitment to stage two – let’s all get on board this legacy project for our city," Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate says.

"Our city is on the eve of significant growth and prosperity. By linking light rail with heavy rail will allow Brisbane’s 1.2 million residents easy access to our city via public transport-importantly, it will take vehicles off the M1 in both directions."

Bids for the contract close in late December this year, with a winner to be announced early next year.

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