Gold Coast Rail Project Stage 2 to be completed by 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $95 million in funding for the second stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail Project when he visited Queensland last week.
The light rail project will enable both visitors and support staff for the Commonwealth Games to travel from Brisbane to the main stadium by rail.
Mr Turnbull, who now travels by cavalcade and police escort, was once an avid user of public transport and has many plans for important public transport infrastructure projects if his rhetoric is to be believed. 'Avid user of public transport' may mean that he caught the occasional taxi from his mansion in Point Piper - but who's keeping score, anyway?
The route will be 7.3 km long, and will link the Gold Coast University Hospital with Helensvale train station. Mr Turnbull has said that stage two of the project will “…provide the missing link from the Gold Coast to Brisbane”, and the rail will link nine events and five competition venues to both accommodation and public transport interchanges for the Commonwealth Games.
Unlike Tony Abbott, who had refused to fund the project (without even seeing a business case) and insisted that the Queensland Government find the infrastructure funds by selling off public assets, Mr Turnbull has prioritised the funding decision.
The Gold Coast City Council will also be committing $55 million towards the project and the Department of Transport and Main Roads has also found savings which will allow for the State Government to contribute to the project.
Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Jackie Trad has said that the clock is ticking if the project needs to be completed by the time the Commonwealth Games are due to start in April 2018. Ms Trad said that now the Federal Government has confirmed its contribution, the Queensland Government will be in a position to appoint a preferred contractor early next year.
This critical deadline is thought to be a key factor when it comes to choosing the best contractor for the job, with GamesLinQ (a joint venture between BMD Construction and Downer EDI Works), John Holland and Leighton Contractors all making the shortlist.
- BMD has worked on a range of medium sized civil projects across Australia, while also partnering in some massive jobs such as the Legacy Way tunnel in Brisbane, worth $1.5 billion.
- John Holland, considered somewhat of a rail specialist, has delivered and partnered major rail projects in Sydney and Perth and also helps maintain and operate the Metro Trains Melbourne system.
- Leighton Contractors is somewhat of an expert when it comes to rail, and has delivered $13 billion dollars worth of rail projects, with more than 60 of them including freight and metro rail lines, stations and infrastructure.
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McConnell Dowell contributed to the first stage of the project but was notably absent from the shortlist.
GoldLinQ Chairman John Witheriff has said that the request-for-tender phase will finish on the 23rd of December this year, and the preferred contractor should be appointed during early 2016.
Stage one of the project has led to a 25% increase in people using public transport on the Gold Coast in just the first year, with an increase from 18,200 to 20,281 average number of daily trips.
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