Funding for the Gold Coast Light Rail's next stage have been leaked online revealing a $112 million federal commitment by the Coalition.
The funds, due in next year's federal budget, are part of a massive $7.6 billion roads and rail package organised by ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a final attempt to win over key battleground seats before next year's election.
The light rail extension is the only Gold Coast project included in the leaked budget plan.
The Stage 3A proposal outlines a 6.4km southern extension which will create eight new stations, running from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads.
There is also potential for two western spur lines heading to Robina and Varsity Lakes which would split off at Miami and Burleigh Heads.
The state and council last year put $5 million each towards the business case, which was expected to be finalised by December 2018.
Community consultation meetings began last month with links, as well as the location of the stations, subject to change based on the incoming funding and local feedback.
“Four advertised community drop-in sessions were held in August and attended by about 750 people at Burleigh Heads Surf Club and Mermaid Beach Surf Club,” a Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson told The Urban Developer.
“People were able to have their questions answered, view alignment maps and animated fly throughs and leave feedback that will be used to inform the Detailed Business Case.”
The $660 million Light Rail project is currently funded by the Commonwealth and will now await funding from the state government and Gold Coast City Council who are expected to pledge $66 million towards stage 3A.
“Any decision around future funding for the delivery of Stage 3A will be dependent on the completion of a supportive business case and funding contributions from all three levels of government,” the TMR spokesperson added.
Patronage on the new rail system has been received well with a reported 5.2 million trips taking place since the trams began running to Helensvale.
Light rail stage 3B is eventually expected to travel south from Burleigh to the border, stopping at Gold Coast Airport.
If the funding does go ahead mid-2019, trams are anticipated to be carrying passengers to Burleigh by 2021.