The Queensland government has announced the tenderer for a heavy rail duplication project that will create hundreds of jobs across the Gold Coast. The initiative is part of the wider regeneration of the region in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Golding Contractors will work on the duplication of heavy rail tracks between Helensvale and Coomera stations, which is expected to support 200 construction positions. The organisation is scheduled to commence building work in March next year.
State Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the $163 million civil construction venture is just one of a number of upcoming initiatives that will create jobs in Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk government is committed to investing in public transport infrastructure in the Gold Coast region, particularly ahead of the Commonwealth Games – an event that will inject $2 billion into the Queensland economy and generate around 30,000 jobs,” he said.
Anyone currently undertaking Gold Coast apprenticeships and traineeships could also find the news encouraging. Transport, construction, tourism and hospitality organisations are expected to ramp up hiring in the coming years, which may provide opportunities for skilled candidates.
Increasing transport capacity
The aim of the heavy rail duplication project is to raise the capacity of a key gateway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. According to the state government, the current set-up records approximately 4.5 million passenger journeys annually but often struggles in peak times.
Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe said the construction work will duplicate the only piece of single track still remaining on the Gold Coast line. Furthermore, Golding Contractors will build eight new rail bridges, the most notable of which will cover 860 metres across Hope Island Road, the Coomera River and Saltwater Creek.
“Through duplicating heavy rail tracks between Coomera and Helensvale stations, we will be able to further improve public transport in the region ahead of the Games, by introducing extra peak hour services and extra capacity from Brisbane to the Gold Coast,” he stated.
Earlier this month, Mr Hinchliffe unveiled plans to deliver a transit-oriented project at a state-owned site at Varsity Lakes. The 8.4-hectare plot will be a mixed-use area with residential and commercial buildings, as well as a park ‘n’ ride facility with up to 600 car parking spaces. Mr Hinchliffe said improving transport links remains a primary objective ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator