In Queensland every thing is too hard, too many non-obstacles that other jurisdictions just sort.
Sadly, with the possible exception of WA, I think QLD is merely the "trend leader" on that front. The dysfunction IS spreading - look at the cost and tantrums of Sydney NWRL, or the utterly outrageous cost of the South Morang extension, or the on-again off-again and how half baked Adelaide Electrification.
I've been spending a fair bit of time at our Docklands Drive office in Melbourne, and have grown to love the cheap and cheerful extension of the trams down to Harbour Town. Just hop a 70, 86 or free circle tram at the front door of the office. Intrigued to see that the Docklands Drive tram line uses normal rails, not grooved tram rail too.
I have to wonder, from seeing the Docklands area tram extensions, if the Gold Coast system could not have been built a hell of a lot cheaper than it was simply by tapping Melbourne expertise and tagging on the tram order with the Melbourne built Bombardiers. But co-ordination and skill sharing between states seems to elude this dysfunctional shambles that we jokingly call a nation.
Getting back on track with the Hamilton extension - there is really no reason why that could not be done as a quick and cheap extension from Doomben. No need for fancy Taj Mahal stations - a platform with Go Card readers and TransLink orange shelters will do. As I already said, major expense is getting over or under KSD.
Take the Doomben line trains to northern periphery of Northshore at Curtin Ave area and, combined with KSD bus and CityCat we would have ourselves a reasonably decent waterfront precinct.
Of course, I expect the concept of such sensible planning and infrastructure development to utterly elude either the numbnuts of either party in George St,or the career do-nothing obfuscators who populate QLD Transport and the smouldering remains of the once great QR.
Pardon my cynicism, but the last 12 months, still working in the industry but under a new name, has made my view of this country very bleak indeed. Only way to get money spent on rail infrastructure or service is either (a) to pork barrel an electorate or (b) to export greenhouse gases to the world while denying there is a problem.
Queensland is merely the advance guard in this dysfunction. Its spreading - Federally, to other states as well. Even NZ is doing it better now.