Federal $95 million light rail extension grant sends Gold Coast market soaring to new heights
Proud Gold Coasters will remember Sunday 11th October, 2015 as the day the property market began to boom. It’s the day all three tiers of Government came together to jointly fund Stage II of the light rail for completion in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The project was estimated to cost up to $700m in total, of which the Gold Coast city council would contribute $55m. The mayor, Tom Tate, said the project would improve access to the Gold Coast as a premier tourist destination just in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Mayor Tom Tate says the $1.2 billion Games, which will attract competitors, visitors and heads of state from 71 countries, will mark a major maturity point for the Gold Coast and see it recognised as “much more than a regional city”.
“We do have the have-a-go spirit and the friendliness but people will come to realise that the city also has a strong intellect,” he says. “You combine that with a reputation for being famous for fun and it’s a potent mixture for overseas investment, and that is what’s happening.”
Tate openly concedes the city lost its way a little when it hit bumpy times. “I think we basically fell asleep for eight years,” he says bluntly. “The city basically came to a halt. While that happened the rest of the world moved ahead. Just by staying still you are falling behind.”
Now, perhaps channelling the famous economic barometer used by former Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the mayor points to his skyline. “There was one crane in the sky 3½ years ago,” he says. “If you look at it now there are 38 cranes in the sky. Major things are happening again.”
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