Gold Coast pollies urged to prioritise road, rail funding

As the future of the Gold Coast light rail extension continued to be used as a political football, the State’s peak motoring body has called for an armistice so this vital project could be progressed.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the political bunfight over light rail Stage 3A from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads needed to end.

“This project relies on funding from the Federal and State Governments, and Gold Coast Council. There’s talk of a scope change, but it’s too late for that – all tiers of government agreed to it before the business case was approved,” Dr Michael said.

“Whoever forms the next Federal Government needs to immediately meet with the State Government and Gold Coast Council to get this funding row fixed and get construction on stage 3A started.

“We need politicians to get on board, work together and help bridge the funding gap.”

Ahead of the Federal Election, Dr Michael said the Club also hoped priority would be given to Pacific Motorway upgrades, which did much of the heavy lifting on the local road network.

“The Coomera Connector’s certainly high on our wish list, but it’s important the Pacific Motorway isn’t forgotten and gets its fair share of funding too,” she said.

“We need improvements along the length of the Pacific Motorway to be fast-tracked. That means the delivery of interchange upgrades, six lanes between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, and eight lanes between the Gateway Motorway and Loganholme.

“Traffic issues affect many of us each day, but sadly for some, the impacts last forever. We can’t afford for lives and livelihoods to be at the mercy of political funding disputes.”

RACQ’s priority projects for the Gold Coast included:

  • Gold Coast light rail – extend light rail south to Coolangatta and the airport
  • Pacific Motorway – complete six lanes and interchange upgrades between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, upgrade to eight lanes from Gateway Motorway to Loganholme
  • Develop the Coomera Connector from Stapylton-Jacobs Well Road to Nerang-Broadbeach Road as a multi-modal corridor.