May 13, 2010

$110 million tender release gets Gold Coast Rapid Transit project moving

$110 million tender release gets Gold Coast Rapid Transit project moving

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2010

The highly anticipated Gold Coast Rapid Transit project takes a further step towards reality today with Premier Anna Bligh and Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese opening bids for $110 million worth of roadwork contracts.

This is the largest package of early works contracts released so far, and will provide a shot in the arm for the local construction industry.

The works support stage one of the project, a 13 kilometre light rail corridor connecting Griffith University and the new 750 bed Gold Coast University Hospital to Broadbeach, passing through the key centres of Southport and Surfers Paradise.

Premier Bligh said the project is the first light rail network in any regional Australian city and is part of managing the enormous growth that has occurred on the Coast.

“These major tenders confirm the project will be delivered and we will build a transport network that will take 75,000 cars off Gold Coast roads when it is completed in 2014.

“This will provide a fully integrated public transport system and a more affordable and reliable alternative to car travel for all Coast residents, boosting public transport use from four per cent to 10 per cent.

“Let me be perfectly clear – it is full steam ahead for rapid transit. It is becoming a reality and that’s great news for the Gold Coast.”

Minister Albanese said the project was part of the Rudd Labor Government’s unprecedented $37 billion investment in transport infrastructure.

“Our record investment is aimed at building more sustainable communities, a more productive economy and supporting the economic recovery.

“This project ticks all the boxes – it will slash greenhouse gas emissions 114,000 tonnes within its first decade of operation and generate more than 6,300 direct and indirect jobs for locals.

“After a decade of neglect, the national government is now back in the business of building our cities, and these tenders show we are serious about better infrastructure for the Gold Coast.

Local members Peter Lawlor and Peta-Kaye Croft welcomed the calling of these major contracts.

“This project will provide an iconic piece of tourist infrastructure on the Coast, and it’s great to see that real progress is being made,” Mr Lawlor said.

“I know the downturn in the construction industry has hurt many locals, so big contracts like this provide a real boost for local jobs,” Ms Croft said.

Premier Bligh said roadworks package will be delivered using a competitive Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) approach.

“The project team has identified two government funded packages valued at approximately $110 million that will lay the foundations for the future light rail system.”

Advertising for the two roadworks will commence over the next week with the packages divided geographically into two areas:

  • Roadworks North (Southport);
  • Roadworks South (Broadbeach).

The works would include road widening, the relocation of public utilities and accommodation works such as the reinstatement of driveways, fencing and car parks.

“These works are vital in preparing the stage one corridor for the laying of the light rail tracks and the construction of stations which will be conducted by the appointed operator from 2012-2014,” Ms Bligh said.

“We are seeking Main Roads pre-qualified and experienced contractors to bid for the roadworks packages and I would encourage all interested contractors to visit the e-tenders website for more information.”