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Commonwealth Games visitors will be unable to catch a train direct to the Gold Coast to watch the 2018 Games unless three levels of government reach agreement within weeks, the consortia that built stage one says.
Unless they can guarantee around $300 million between them, tens of thousands of visitors in 2018 will have to drive to the Games, or catch buses from Varsity Lakes station.
In order to be able to catch a train direct to the Gold Coast, the second stage of Gold Coast light rail – from Southport to meet the main train line at Helensvale – must be built.
The Gold Coast light rail route.
Only last week, London Olympics chief executive Sebastian Coe, told Brisbane the main advantage to London after the 2012 Olympic Games was its lasting legacy to the city.
"I fundamentally believe that cities that stage big sporting events – and do it properly – can really build legacies that have an impact that last for generations," he said.
Phil Mumford, the chief executive officer of Gold Linq – the consortium that built the $1 million stage one of Gold Coast's light rail project – said there was time for a decision to be reached to build the $600 million light rail connection out to the main rail line to Brisbane.
"Yes there is. But a decision needs to be made shortly," Mr Mumford said.
"And its weeks, not months," he said.
"The reason for that is that a lot of stage two is an earthworks-type job and as I said, we take the risk on the works program.
"If we get wet weather when we have a lot of earth opened up, then we take on risk."
Mr Mumford said there was no exact 'end date', after which the project could not be finished in time.
"I can't say 'The government has 22 days' or anything. It doesn't work like that," he said.
"But time now is very much of the essence."
Stage one was a 13-kilometre link, while stage two is only seven kilometres. A maintenance depot – needed for stage one, is not needed for stage two.
Mr Mumford said the aim for any operator was have the rail link up and running before the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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