A fresh update for Gold Coast light rail

By Greg Bell

The light rail project for the Gold Coast forms an infrastructure backbone around which the tourism industry can develop. Reaching from Southport to the furthest commercial reaches of our corner of the state, it enables visitors to experience the full spectrum of Gold Coast commercial operations.

While it has been in operation for some time now, there are always ongoing developments to improve and expand upon it, the latest of which has been handed down by the Queensland government. So, what's in store for us this Christmas, New Year, and the years beyond?

Tenders are the way

In a 24 December media release, transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced that GoldLinQ was analysing the applications for tender from three candidates to develop stage two of the rail project.

"The Palaszczuk Government is seeking three value for money bids and an assurance that construction can be completed in late 2017 or early 2018 to ensure the trams and integrated public transport system is fully operational in time for 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games," he stated.

This light rail expansion could be a huge boom for commercial property on the Gold Coast, giving unprecedented public transport access to everything under the sun here. While the process has not yet been finalised, it bodes well for the future.

Details of the process

The government held more than 80 meetings with candidates to develop the light rail, showcasing the intensity of the process and the need to get this public infrastructure right. There were 3,000 project documents given to tenderers, 27 interactive workshops, and 260 formal questions and answers over the course of twelve weeks.

As for the development itself, stage two of the Gold Coast light rail will add 7.3 kilometres of track to what already exists. It will begin at the Helensvale heavy rail station, continuing through the Gold Coast University Hospital, before finally joining up at the light rail station in the vicinity. The Department of Transport and Main Roads outlines the following new stops and additions:

  • Light rail stops at Helensvale, Parkwood and Parkwood East
  • A further 400 car parks at the Helensvale station
  • And 1,000 new parking spaces at the Parkwood station

This will add significant connectivity to the Gold Coast's public transport capabilities, and retailers in the area will be thrilled to have this next step put in concrete.

Where to from here?

According to the government timeline, construction should begin on stage two of the light rail in April 2016, almost immediately after a decision on the tender process is finalised and announced. With $55.1million in City of Gold Coast funding and $95million of Federal Government funding already committed, there is plenty of financial security for the project.

It isn't just an investment in the future, but a project to boost employment prospects in the short term: "Stage 2 is a vital infrastructure project for the state that is expected to generate 1,000 direct and indirect jobs," noted Mr Hinchliffe.

Whether you manage a high rise hotel or a corner milk bar, there will be a lot of growth to come from this that could help out your business. 

Keep an eye on the future

Once this highly complicated and detailed process is complete, we will see excellent growth in the region. While we can't make your business great (that's your task!), we can help you get into Gold Coast commercial property that is right in the heart of where you need to be. 

Whether you want to attract surfers, tourists, backpackers, businessmen or everything in between, Ray White Surfers Paradise can help you secure the appropriate real estate. 

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