The man who wants Cr Graham Quirk's job as Brisbane's lord mayor for the Labor Party has promised to investigate a "$1 billion plus" light-rail project – similar to Gold Coast's light rail - for Brisbane's CBD.
The first stage of Labor's future light rail – at this stage just an un-costed idea - would be to run somewhere between Newstead and West End.
However that is a similar route as the popular existing blue City Glider high frequency bus service.
And the man who already has the job – Lord Mayor Graham Quirk – describes Labor's idea as "an expensive solution to something that is not a problem."
Cr Quirk said the ideas suggested for investigation by Mr Harding would not improve the traffic capacity problem in the city because it would travel where the blue City Glider now ran.
He said the blue City Glider service between New Farm and West End, which connects to the University of Queensland ferry, carried over two million passenger a year.
"So what we are seeing is a very expensive solution to something that is not a problem," Cr Quirk said.
"The blue City Glider works perfectly well," he said.
Asked by journalists whether the idea was feasible, Cr Quirk said in 2007 the council found light rail was seven times more expensive than the City Glider bus service.
"We did a comparison between light rail and the blue City Glider," Cr Quirk said.
"And the blue City Glider is seven times cheaper to operate and set up and run that it would be for light rail,"he said.
"So it is just not a good use of public money," he said.
Rod Harding said he would release more details in a month as the Brisbane City Council election on March 19 gets closer.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he would also release more details on his public transport ideas also in a month.
However Cr Quirk said Labor's proposed costs were "fanciful."
"They are undercooking what would be the real cost of a light rail network," he said.
Labor's eight-kilometre idea would have to make major changes to two inner-city bridges, Cr Quirk said.
"You are never-ever going to do that for $700 million," he said.
"It would be more like double that at the very least."
Cr Quirk said while he welcomed debate about public transport, Labor's proposed route along the City Glider route was a waste of money.
"To simply replicate a line which is already running very well is simply a waste of money," he said.
Mr Harding said his idea was to eventually grow the network to include Suncorp Stadium and the Gabba, the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and Mater hospitals, then Hamilton Northshore and the PA Hospital.
The Gold Coast has a similar high profile light-rail project – and has promises of money for the next stage – from both state and federal governments.
The Sunshine Coast has a draft route in place and is refining the route for light rail at the Caloundra-end of the Sunshine Coast.
A previous Queensland Government investigated the feasibility of light rail running through inner-city Brisbane and in 2007 Brisbane City Council examined the idea again and opted instead for the high-frequency "blue" City Glider bus services between New Farm and West End.
Mr Harding wants the "light rail/tram" issue investigated again for Brisbane.
Labor's unfunded, uncosted plan – with no state government nor federal government support or a suggested route - has been scoffed at as a "thought bubble" by his opponents.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state government would look at the idea if a proposal was submitted.
"It's a great concept. It's one that I think we should have a closer look at. There has been no detailed proposal that has been put to the government," he said.
"I understand it may be a market-led proposal and it is something we might be keen to have a look at through the Building Queensland process."
However Cr Quirk said trams have been "investigated and investigated and investigated," he said.
"Three times in the 1990s we had investigations and reports into trams in Brisbane," he said.
"In 2007, Brisbane City Council undertook its own investigation into trams when we introduce the blue City Glider," he said.
"We have a perfectly good blue City Glider service which is functioning well and carried two million passengers a year," he said.
Cr Quirk said the city's planners originally estimated it would carry 600,000 passengers in its first year.
"But in its first year it carried 1.5 million passengers and this year it is doing over two million.
The Opposition dismissed the idea.
"I think what we have seen today by the Labor lord mayoral candidate has been a non-costed kite –flying exercise," Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said.