The Gold Coast Light Rail reached another major milestone on Christmas Eve, after the Queensland government revealed that the shortlisted bidders have submitted their proposals for the project’s second stage.
Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe said the initiative would create 1,000 jobs in Queensland, through both direct and indirect opportunities.
According to Mr Hinchliffe, value for money and a commitment to delivering the project by early 2018 at the latest are key considerations for selecting a tenderer. The government is particularly keen to have the project up and running in time for the Commonwealth Games.
Three bidders have been shortlisted for the 7.3-kilometre light rail alignment: Leighton Contractors, GamesLinQ and John Holland Queensland. GamesLinQ is a joint venture bid from Downer EDI Works and BMD Constructions.
“The 12-week competitive tender phase was an interactive process designed to maximise innovation, time-saving and design development, with more than 80 meetings held with tenderers, including 27 interactive workshops, and more than 260 formal answers and 3,000 project documents supplied to the tenderers,” Mr Hinchliffe stated.
GoldLinQ, an organisation the Queensland government has tasked with delivering the light rail, took delivery of the submissions and is expected to make a ruling next year.
Gold Coast opportunities on the rise
The light rail scheme is just one of a number of projects the Gold Coast is carrying out to prepare the region for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and beyond. The region’s population growth is also a primary factor that is creating new opportunities.
In December, the Queensland government unveiled a rail deduplication scheme that is expected to support 200 workers in the region. The City of Gold Coast council also published its City Plan for the next 20 years.
These and other initiatives are likely to have a significant impact on employment throughout the Gold Coast in the coming years. Apprenticeships and traineeships across numerous industries may also receive a boost, as businesses prepare to fill potential skills gaps in their organisations.
Commenting on the light rail project, GoldLinQ Chairman John Witheriff said his team would conduct a thorough evaluation of the submitted proposals in order to decide the right consortia to design and build stage two.
“Following GoldLinQ’s rigorous evaluation process and recommendation to the Queensland government, the announcement of the successful tenderer is expected to be made by April 2016, with construction commencing shortly after,” he explained.
The stage two alignment stretches from Helensvale heavy rail station and bus interchange to the Gold Coast University Hospital. The finished project will also connect to the academic institution’s section of the light rail network.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator