After the election, it was expected the future of Stage 3A of the G-Link would be locked down, but the next steps in this project are still anything but concrete thanks to funding disputes between the state and the federal government. While the business case for the $700 million project is complete, the new state and federal budgets have both failed to allocate sufficient money to get the latest stage of the light rail off the ground.
Stage 3A will see the track extending south connecting the current G-Link line which currently ends in Broadbeach all the way to Burleigh Heads, with stops at Mermaid Beach, Mermaid Beach South, Nobby Beach, Miami North, Miami, Christine Avenue, Second Avenue Burleigh and finally, Burleigh Heads.
Before the federal election, the Coalition government committed $112 million to the project, which equates to just over 16 percent of the total cost. Compared to the 38 percent the federal government committed to Stage 1, it’s easy to see why both State Government and Local Council are calling on the Morison government to bring more to the table.
To match their Stage 1 contribution, the Feds would have to contribute a further $157 million to the project, but no revision to the current $112 million came despite Cr Tate’s encouragement.
“While I’m disappointed light rail was not included, I’m confident the conversation between the state and federal governments will continue,” said Mayor Tom Tate.
Councillor Tate is now calling for a compromise of a further $45 million from the Morrison government, in an effort to get the ball rolling, with the State Government still yet to pledge any funding to the Stage 3A project specifically.
The delay means Stage 3A of the Gold Coast tram system is unlikely to be completed until late 2022, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have an impact on the Gold Coast until then. As well as data from RACQ confirming the light rail extension would ease congestion and reduce the crash rate on the Gold Coast Highway, the light rail also has a notable effect on property prices.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland confirms the areas within walking distance of the light rail have seen “far and away much better demand” from tenants, owners and investors alike. The significant impact on the existing connected areas is key for buyers looking at areas expected to be connected by Stage 3A.
Chairman for the Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s Gold Coast Zone, Andrew Henderson confirms residents of the Gold Coast enjoy the connectivity that the G-Link provides.
“It think that it does add a premium if it’s within a convenient walking distance, that 200 to 250-metre mark,” he added.
After Stage 3A gets off the ground and under construction, attention will turn to Stage 3B, which will connect the existing line to the Gold Coast Airport, providing a major boost for tourism in the area. The NSW State Government are already looking for a slice of that pie, with $1 million announced to develop a business case for a light-rail connection from Tweed Heads to Coolangatta and the Gold Coast Airport.