Media Release – Gold Coast Light Rail Central to Success of Commonwealth Games was Opposed by Coalition – Tuesday, 17 April 2018
The Gold Coast Light Rail’s efficient handling of 1.1 million passenger journeys during the Commonwealth Games underlines the value of public transport in tackling traffic congestion in Australia’s rapidly growing cities.
It also highlights the foolishness of the Federal Coalition in opposing the construction of the project when the former Federal Labor Government provided $365 million in funding in the 2009 Budget.
Gold Coast Light Rail, also known as G:link, was designed to boost the Gold Coast’s economic productivity by reducing traffic congestion and facilitating easier movement for tourists and residents at the Commonwealth Games and beyond.
The project, delivered in partnership with the Queensland Government, Gold Coast City Council and the private sector, has been an unambiguous success.
However, when Federal support for Light Rail was first proposed, the Coalition Opposition, including Gold Coast MP and current Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo, voted against the funding, although this did not stop them seeking credit when the first stage opened to public acclaim in 2014.
The Coalition, which cut all Federal investment in public transport not under construction when it came to office in 2013, should learn from its mistakes.
It needs to understand that good public transport projects reduce traffic congestion and boost productivity, thereby underpinning economic growth and job creation.
The Government should use next month’s Budget to provide investment for projects like the Melbourne Metro, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, South Australia’s AdeLINK Light Rail project, the Perth METRONET, including the Morley-to-Ellenbook line, and the full route of the Western Sydney Rail project.