A new rail duplication project that will support more than 200 jobs in Queensland has begun construction, with the initiative aimed at improving transport links for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The $163 million Coomera to Helensvale rail duplication venture will help double train capacity to the Gold Coast region during crucial morning peaks, as well as enhance passenger numbers travelling to Brisbane in the afternoon.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, alongside Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, was on hand to turn the first sod at the site earlier this month (March 13).
Ms Palaszczuk described the event as an “exciting milestone” for the last remaining single-track portion of the Gold Coast line. The scheme could also create opportunities for Gold Coast apprentices, as the premier highlighted the importance of the track to local tradespeople.
“The project will provide a major boost for the construction industry, providing up to two years’ employment for more than 200 people working in trades such as engineering, electrical, steel fixing, concreting and carpentry,” Ms Palaszczuk stated.
These comments were echoed by Ms Trad, who said the Coomera to Helensvale project would help transform public transport as the Gold Coast undergoes a period of rapid growth.
Games infrastructure boosts job creation
According to Mr Hinchliffe, the duplication will cover 8.2 kilometres of track between the Coomera and Helensvale stations. He said construction teams would begin laying the second track over the next few months.
Mr Hinchliffe also reinforced the Queensland government’s focus on job creation, with the Commonwealth Games a significant contributing factor.
“The Palaszczuk government is committed to investing in infrastructure in the Gold Coast region ahead of the Games – an event that will inject $2 billion into the Queensland economy and generate around 30,000 jobs,” he added.
“This project will not only support the Gold Coast region to host one of the world’s largest sporting events, but will also cater for the region’s growing number of residents and visitors.”
His comments came as the state government announced that Queensland’s domestic tourism performance outpaced the rest of the nation in 2015. Figures from Tourism Research Australia showed the state enjoyed a 6 per cent jump in travellers from inside the country last year.
Approximately 20.1 million Australians visited Queensland over the 12-month period, spending a record amount of $14.5 billion collectively during their stays. Tourism and Events Minister Kate Jones said the industry’s growth is promising, particularly because of the effect it has on job creation.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator