The next stage of the Gold Coast light rail, linking Broadbeach and Burleigh, will secure a $126 million federal rescue package when the budget is handed down on Tuesday.
A contract dispute between the Queensland government and builders, John Holland Group, has triggered delays and a budget blowout on the light rail extension.
Before the October state election, the 6.7 kilometre extension was expected to cost $709 million and take 3½ years to build. All three levels of government agreed to chip in to get the project finished by 2024.
Shortly after Labor won power again, the state entered contract negotiations with John Holland which have stalled.
Ahead of Tuesday’s federal budget, Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher announced an extra $126 million to cover the project blowout.
Mr Bailey said the rail extension was needed as south-east Queeensland’s population boom continued.
The Queensland government estimated the cost of congestion between Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads was $38 million in 2018, which would increase to $145 million by 2041.
“We have got to deal with population growth and build the infrastructure that is needed to move people around efficiently,” Mr Bailey said.
The final budget for stage three is yet to be agreed to and the project is now expected to wrap up in 2025.
The fourth stage of the light rail plans to link Burleigh and Coolangatta via Gold Coast Airport, but funding is yet to be committed.