Joint Media Release
17 December 2017
Gold Coast residents and public transport users have received an early Christmas present with Stage 2 of the light rail officially opening to passengers ahead of schedule.
For the first time, passengers can travel by tram from Broadbeach to Helensvale station to connect with heavy rail services to Brisbane and beyond.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the commitment to have passengers on board the $420 million, 7.3 kilometre extension in time for the Commonwealth Games had been delivered after an 18 month construction program.
“It is fantastic to be standing here several months out from the Games and see the community already benefitting from this city-building infrastructure,” Ms Trad said.
“Light rail on the Gold Coast is a resounding success and the extended tram system will help ease congestion now and into the future as the city continues to grow.
“These benefits will be even further enhanced by Cross River Rail, our number one infrastructure project, which will deliver faster, more frequent services on the Gold Coast Line.”
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the light rail network provided an alternative way to move around the Gold Coast.
“The newly opened Stage 2 corridor will provide a reliable, affordable and convenient connection with the wider South East Queensland rail network,” Mr Fletcher said.
“Congestion in Australia’s major cities costs more than $16 billion a year and public transport is an important investment in the future of the Gold Coast with the city’s population forecast to reach 800,000 by 2031.
“Since light rail was introduced on the Gold Coast, the overall number of public transport trips each year has increased by more than 30 per cent, which demonstrates how public transport investment is a key priority for managing traffic growth in Australia.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the Gold Coast light Rail Stage 2 included three additional stations and two park ‘n’ rides offering 1,400 commuter parking spaces. Provisions for two future stations between Parkwood and Helensvale have also been included during construction.
“The light rail now links many key locations throughout the city including retail, employment, education, residential and tourist areas,” Mr Bailey said.
“As has proven to be the case with Stage 1, once people experience riding the G: they quickly realise that it is the easiest and best way to travel through the most urbanised areas of the Gold Coast.
“With frequent services every seven and a half minutes in peak, every time a passenger steps on board a tram, they can be confident they will arrive at their destination station on time. The G:link trams frequently achieve on-time running time each month, which is fantastic news.”
Federal Member for Moncrieff and Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo welcomed the impact this would have on growing tourism.
“This vital link will allow better connectivity of our tourism attractions and make them more accessible,” Mr Ciobo said.
“This is great news for our growing city, more than one million work hours helped deliver this project ahead of schedule.”
State Member for Gaven and Assistant Minister for Tourism Meaghan Scanlon said the extended light rail network would give public transport users more travel options and build on the success of Stage 1.
“Local commuters and tourist alike will be able to seamlessly travel throughout the Gold Coast on any TransLink service be it tram, bus or train – improving connectivity and accessibility across our city,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Helensvale station is now a key transport hub here on the fast growing northern Gold Coast and it will act as the public transport connector between Brisbane’s CBD and all that the Gold Coast has to offer.”
Federal Member for Fadden Stuart Robert said Stage 2 created local jobs, with more than 2,000 workers inducted and over $200 million spent on local supply contracts”.
“Throughout construction, 88 percent of workers have been from the Gold Coast and wider South East Queensland region which shows the positive economic benefits this project has already passed on to the local community,” Mr Robert said.
“We are very proud to have delivered the second stage of this world class light rail system and we thank the community for their patience during the construction period.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said light rail has acted as a catalyst for economic investment and evidence of this trend continuing along the extended rail corridor was visible with several significant residential communities underway.
“Over the past 18 months many locals have benefitted from construction jobs and we can now see new homes being built along the corridor which ensures ongoing opportunities for employment,” he said.
“The G:link system is a great example of the three levels of government coming together to deliver transport infrastructure that benefits the entire community.”
Works on Stage 2 commenced in July 2016 following the appointment of CPB Contractors as GoldlinQ’s design and construction partner. For more information visit www.gclrstage2.com.au.
The Gold Coast Light Rail – Stage 2 project was funded by the Australian Government ($95 million), the Queensland Government ($270 million) and Gold Coast City Council ($55 million).