PREMIER ANNOUNCES RAPID TRANSIT CONTRACT

PREMIER ANNOUNCES RAPID TRANSIT CONTRACT

A CONSORTIUM comprising some of Australia’s largest engineering and development companies has been appointed to construct and operate of the $1 billion Gold Coast Rapid Transit project.

GoldLinQ includes companies Keolis, Downer EDI Group, McConnell Dowell, Bombardier and Plenary Group and will begin construction on the project later this year.

Australian-owned Plenary Group is a private company specialising in private-public JV’s; Keolis is France’s largest private sector transport group; Victorian-based construction company McConnell Dowell is South Africa-owned; Bombardier is a Canadian global transport group; while Downer EDI Group is a diversified engineering company with a market capitalisation of $1.6 billion on the ASX.

Announcing the contract this morning, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says each company has a proven track record of transport construction both within Australia and overseas.

“Over the last year the government's project team has been pouring through 150 boxes of documents from the final three short listed bidders,” says Bligh.

“The end result is a public private partnership with GoldlinQ that will deliver light rail to the Gold Coast and more than 6,300 direct and indirect jobs.

“This is one of the biggest public transport projects in the country - and the first light rail project for Queensland - and when it's completed in 2014, it will give Gold Coast residents and visitors alike easy, hassle free commuting.

“It will transform the face of the Gold Coast City, which will boast the most modern public transport system in the country.”

Stage One of the light rail project includes a 13 kilometre light rail corridor that will service the new Gold Coast University Hospital, Griffith University, Southport medical precinct and the fastest growing recreational centres of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke says the city’s population is expected to exceed 800,000 people by 2031 and South East Queensland will grow 57 per cent to 4.4 million people.

“More people means more traffic but light rail is a high quality solution for coping with this growth and influencing the travelling habits of our residents,” says Clarke.

“This project will create a lasting legacy for our city and help address key activity and growth in areas such as Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.”

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