Artists impressions of the Gold Coast light rail at Gold Coast Airport PHOTO: Supplied
Artists impressions of the Gold Coast light rail at Gold Coast Airport PHOTO: Supplied

Where the light rail is going next

THE NSW Government is undergoing a study for a $400 million light rail extension from Gold Coast Airport to Tweed Heads' biggest shopping centre.

The plan, championed by Tweed MP Geoff Provest, is being developed to address cross-border transport issues. It findings are expected to be released mid-year and are considered pivotal to the NSW Coalition government's re-election hopes in the region in March 2019.

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Stakeholders involved in the plan include the Gold Coast and Tweed Shire councils, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Queensland's Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

However, the project, expected to be at least 4km long, will not receive financial support from Gold Coast ratepayers.

Mr Provest said the northern NSW tram would stop in front of Tweed City.

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"I think this is enormous," he said. "I look round Tweed Heads and there are a lot of vacant shops, from Twin Towns to Wharf Central.

State member for Tweed Geoff Provest
State member for Tweed Geoff Provest

"Something like this would change the dynamic."

Mr Provest said he expected the route would cost around $400 million, but admitted that could change.

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"There will have to be a lot more number crouching," he said.

Light rail is included on the Airport’s upgrade plans PHOTO: Supplied
Light rail is included on the Airport’s upgrade plans PHOTO: Supplied

A Queensland TMR spokeswoman said it was providing ongoing support for the study and had met with NSW officials in November last year.

But don't expected to see the link to complete for at least five years as its construction is dependant on the Gold Coast line reaching the airport, something not expected for at least seven years.

The Gold Coast Council and State Government are preparing a $10 million feasibility study on Stage 3B, which will connect Broadbeach with Burleigh Heads.

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Stage 3B, running to the airport, will follow and is only in the preliminary planning stages.

You’ll be able to catch the tram from the Airport to Tweed City. PHOTO: Supplied
You’ll be able to catch the tram from the Airport to Tweed City. PHOTO: Supplied

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said ratepayer funds would not be spent on any infrastructure outside of the state.

"I have no doubt Tweed wants to connect with our light rail system but that simply isn't possible until we deliver it in stages to Burleigh, on to the airport, and then on to Coolangatta," he said.

"Once at the border, discussions on a link into NSW could be realistically considered with the NSW Government needing to fund that infrastructure.

"No Gold Coast ratepayer dollars would be offered up.''