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THE next stage of light rail from Broadbeach south to Burleigh is a step closer after a draft business case was ticked off by councillors yesterday.
Councillors went into closed session at a city infrastructure committee meeting to discuss the preliminary business case on the third stage of the project.
“There will be eight stations. It is going straight down the highway, not near the Esplanade,” a council source said.
One of the key issues to be resolved by council will be building a multistorey car park at the Burleigh terminus for passengers.
The Bulletin understands the council will consider talking to private land owners but any deal to extend operating rights on the car park must ensure pricing can be kept at reasonable levels.
Council has not released the preliminary business case and the recommendations provided on a public council report only show the route from Broadbeach south will be to “an interim terminus at Burleigh Heads”.
Council will build a multistorey car park at the Burleigh light rail terminus. Picture John GassThe fully completed business case is to be given to both the State and Federal governments with the aim that the next stage will be an “investment priority”.
Both governments will be told that the extension of light rail as far south as Coolangatta remains “among the highest priorities” for the council as it moves forward from the Commonwealth Games.
Council chief executive officer Dale Dickson is to undertake the negotiations on funding with the key being to ensure costs on the leg to Burleigh don’t blow out from $600 million.
Outside the council, Acting Mayor Donna Gates told the Bulletin: “We need to do a comprehensive business case to put to government for funding so they are across every detail.
“We don’t want this to fail. We know everyone wants the tram to Coolangatta. We need to make sure the business case is strong.”
Given the business case stacked up, the Acting Mayor was confident a three-way funding deal between council and the State and Federal Governments could be negotiated.
“Generally, there is great support for this project. Everyone has seen it working in first stage. We know the second stage (to Helensvale) is going to be a game changer for our city.
“Getting down to Coolangatta will be the icing on the cake.”
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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