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Project Spotlight: Gold Coast light rail one step closer to appointing successful contractor

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Posted by Sophia Rostron

The Federal Government has agreed to financially support the proposed expansion of the Gold Coast Light Rail project, allocating $95 million towards the long-awaited second stage of the rail line. With all three levels of Government committed to fund the extension, construction is expected to start in April 2016 and completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. 

Value: expected to cost between $600 and $700 million

Funding breakdown: 

  • Federal Government - $95 million
  • Queensland Government - Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Department of Transport and Main Roads had identified savings to allow for a state government contribution to the project.
  • Gold Coast City Council $55 million

Contractor: to be announced in early 2016

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport said now a funding agreement has been secured with the Commonwealth, the Queensland Government will be in a position to appoint a preferred contractor in early 2016 following the conclusion of the Request for Tender phase on 23 December 2015.

The expression of interest process was completed in September, with six national and international consortia vying to construct the proposed rail alignment. Three firms have been shortlisted. 

The project: 7.3 kilometre light rail alignment from the Helensvale heavy rail station and bus interchange to connect with Stage 1 at the Gold Coast University Hospital light rail station

As congestion increases on the Pacific Motorway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, the efficiency of the rail system and its mass transit capabilities become increasingly important for the region beyond the Commonwealth Games.

“Gold Coast Light Rail is a transformative piece of infrastructure and Stage 2 will continue to change the way people move and get around the Gold Coast" said The Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport Jackie Trad. 

“Gold Coast Light Rail patronage continues to exceed expectations, with an average of more than 18,200 trips made on Gold Coast Light Rail each day" reported Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. 

“Construction of Stage 2 of Gold Coast Light Rail will provide the missing link from the Gold Coast to Brisbane.“This project is vital for the Commonwealth Games transport task. It connects five competition venues and nine events to accommodation and public transport interchanges.” the Prime Minister said.

Delay in Federal funding commitment: 

Jennifer Hewett from the Australian Financial Review reports:

"The political significance of Malcolm Turnbull's visit to the Gold Coast goes well beyond a conveniently timed $95 million gift from Canberra for more light rail.

Its impact may personally sting Tony Abbott even more than Turnbull's weekend declaration the Liberal Party wasn't run by factions or backroom deals.

After all, Abbott proudly announced his intention to be the Infrastructure Prime Minister. Yet it is his successor who is so confident of wresting that title not only from Abbott but from Bill Shorten's willing grasp as well. And that includes Turnbull's deliberate switch to include federal funding for public transport as well as roads.

Abbott had, of course, recently refused to fund the acceleration of the Gold Coast project. Not only did light rail contradict the former PM's preference for federal funding to be spent on roads. It was seen as a counterproductive reward for an undeserving state Labor party which had unexpectedly won an election on a rejection of privatisation to help pay for infrastructure. 

With 1,000 jobs to be generated during the construction phase of Stage Two, there will numerous chances to target supply chain opportunities, and subcontract for the successful contractor. Are you responsible for managing project budgets? Do you lead or manage bidding and tendering activities?

It’s a powerful tool to know how to get the best value rates for project. We know it’s time consuming to research this from scratch, so we’ve written a guide on the 7 Factors Affecting Price. Remember, construction professionals that understand the changing market are better equipped to provide value to their client.  New Call-to-action

Sophia Rostron

Sophia Rostron

As the Content editor at plantminer.com.au, Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.