THE route of the Gold Coast’s new ‘M2’ motorway has been locked in, with the final stretch now officially mapped out.
The State Government on Sunday announced the final route of the six-lane road had been gazetted, allowing it to be protected from new development.
It will run for 42km between Nerang and Logan and is tipped to take around 60,000 cars off the congested M1.
Dubbed the Coomera Connector, the new road will be located east of the M1 and, starting from Nerang-Broadbeach Road in Nerang, will travel through Helensvale, Coomera, Pimpama, Ormeau, Stapylton and Eagleby before connecting with the Logan and Pacific Motorway interchanges.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the new road was essential to alleviating congestion on the M1 and would provide an important north-to-south transport link for north Gold Coast communities.
“With more than 180,000 vehicles travelling on the M1 each day and strong population growth on the northern Gold Coast, we need to plan for the region’s future transport demands,” Mr Bailey said.
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“We want people to spend more time at home with their family and friends and less time in traffic, and that means responsibly planning now for growing communities between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
“Now, the entire 45 kilometre Coomera Connector corridor – including the final northern stretch to the Logan Motorway – has been officially gazetted as a future state-controlled road.”
The Nerang to Coomera section was gazetted in March 2016 and the Coomera to Stapylton section in May 2017.
The corridor has been identified in various public planning documents, such as published street directories, regional transport plans, planning studies and City of Gold Coast planning schemes since the 1990s.
Formerly known as the intra-regional transport corridor, the new road will provide more choices for local traffic and additional crossings of the Logan, Coomera and Nerang Rivers.
It’s also expected to cut travel time between the Coast and the Capital by reducing the number of local trips on the M1.
Mr Bailey said there was still plenty of work to do to bring the project to life.
‘‘The community will continue to be involved in future stages of planning for the corridor,” he said.
“Opportunities for consultation will be both in person at a series of information sessions and online.
“Community members will be able to learn more about the project and provide feedback using digital engagement tools such as collaborative mapping.’’
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The Palaszczuk Government has committed $5 million to undertake transport planning studies for the corridor.
Residents who live or have properties along the gazetted route have already been notified, while community information sessions are still being planned along the length of the corridor to gain community input into the short-listed options.
The community will also be given a chance to provide feedback about the project online.
A master plan will then be developed to determine the preferred option for the corridor and help determine how delivery of the project could be staged.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads says a timeline for construction has not yet been identified and will depend on the future traffic growth in the surrounding area and availability of funding.
The Department says it is also liaising with property owners regarding land sales and development applications and early acquisition of properties “may occur in some hardship circumstances”.
Planning continues to progress for the alignment.
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First Look: 140 Hectares Transformed in Gold Coast ‘Ocean Park’ Plan
Seven precincts have been earmarked as part of a multimillion-dollar plan to revitalise The Spit located on the northern end of Main Beach on the Gold Coast.
The state government has released the latest draft masterplan for the “Ocean Park” that would transform almost 140 hectares of The Spit’s 201 hectares, and would include light rail stations, super-yacht berths, and a proposal for an ocean cruise ship terminal.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said plans for The Spit’s open space areas would see it more than eight times the size of Brisbane’s South Bank parklands and 12 times the size of the public spaces in Syndey’s Barangaroo.
“And the Gold Coast Ocean Park has something none of them have – the Broadwater and the surf.”
Queenslanders provided more than 21,100 pieces of feedback to have their say on the future of The Spit.
Parts of the park are earmarked for sensitive commercial development with a three-story height restriction in place.
This zone centres on Fisherman’s Wharf and Sea World.
The Spit would be divided into seven precincts.
Proposals for Phillip park precinct envisage two alternative outcomes — the first addressing the park as open space; while the second outlines the prospect of a cruise ship terminal located in the northern section of Philip Park.
The master plan will not decide whether the potential cruise ship terminal will proceed, stating that “the decision will be subject to a separate process of approval that CoGC may pursue once the master plan has been released”.
New features include 4000sq m set aside for a restored shore rainforest, a light rail extension to Sea World, a super-yacht marina, improved cycle, and walkways through the dunes.
A special curlew habitat will be developed, as well as an underwater sculpture garden for divers to explore.
And the blueprint even includes a “selfie tower” for tourists and locals alike to capture the best shots of the Gold Coast’s skyline.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he will be “urging council to install the necessary infrastructure in partnership with the local major water users” to supply recycled water in line with the plan to create and maintain a Central Park-style green open space.
The blueprint is being released for further discussion before a final plan is released in the coming months.
Consultation is open until the end of March.
‘Beyond Capacity’: Gold Coast Airport Expansion Moves Ahead
Gold Coast Airport is set for the next stage of its $370 million expansion, with the development of aerobridges linking to a new three-level terminal set to move forward in coming months.
Building giant Lendlease, who was the stage one contractor, has been appointed to deliver the construction of the 30,000sq m building, four new aerobridges and new retail areas as part of the southern terminal expansion.
The contract value is worth about $200 million, according to industry sources.
The terminal redevelopment, dubbed Project Lift, will increase the airport’s capacity and more than double the floor area of the existing terminal.
Lendlease’s appointment comes as construction commenced on the new Rydges-branded airport hotel in early February. The $50 million, 192-room hotel was approved in September.
Queensland Airports chief executive Chris Mills said that half a billion dollars would be invested in the precinct under the expansion plan.
“The existing terminal is currently operating beyond capacity,” Mills said.
“This expansion will not only help us meet demand, it will create an entry point to the city, befitting the nation’s leading tourism region.
More than 6 million passengers pass through the airport each year, which is set to double by 2037.
Lendlease Building chief executive Dale Connor said the expansion would employ 1500 subcontractors over the life of the project.
“During peak construction times, approximately 250 workers will be required onsite at any one time.”
The new terminal development is expected to open to passengers in 2021.
City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland
South-east Queensland could be green-lit for the biggest “city deal” in Australia, with a $58 billion proposal to guide its growth, and the prime minister announcing his support for the major plan.
With a focus on supporting diverse sectors within the region including housing and planning, tourism, manufacturing and education, the SEQ City Deal could also pave the way for government-owned land to be opened for development.
Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad this week released Transforming SEQ, which highlights 35 “opportunities” that could be considered as part of the future City Deal, including six “game changers” for the region.
“Modelling by KPMG has shown a SEQ City Deal could stimulate an increase of up to $58 billion in our economy by improving the productivity and competitiveness of the region,” Trad said.
Prime minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors and Queensland government to discuss the proposal this week.
The City Deal, which involves all three levels of government — council, state and federal — would see government working on priorities to drive the SEQ economy.
Under a City Deal plan, all three levels of government sign an agreement to set the priority infrastructure projects and initiatives.
Integrated land-use planning approach?
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison described the announcement as “a game-changer for the region.
“Our growing cities and urban regions are the engine rooms of the Australian economy,” Morrison said.
“The city deal model brings together all levels of government around the same plan to boost productivity and jobs through targeted investment in city-shaping projects and infrastructure.”
Property Council Queensland director Chris Mountford said the council has been collaborating with state government and SEQ councils for nearly six years on the potential for a city deal.
“The State and local governments have also agreed in principle to a more coordinated integrated land-use planning approach,”
“Opening up under-utilised government-owned land for development has also been agreed as a clear opportunity to unlock economic activity, create jobs and build business confidence.”
The region’s current 3.5 million population is forecast to increase to 5.3 million within the next 25 years, ultimately requiring an extra 800,000 homes and additional one million jobs.
Focus has been placed on the recently released people mass movement study which identifies the impact of the expected population growth on the region’s ability to cope with future transport demand.
Minister for Cities Alan Tudge said he, along with the prime minister, will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors to discuss the Deal.
“We need to cater for this rising population and the SEQ City Deal will be a huge step forward,” Tudge said.
South-east Queensland is already home to over two-thirds of the state’s population.
The region is home to nearly one in every seven Australians.
The agreement marks the second city deal for Queensland following the policy being first established in Townsville.
So far, city deals have been developed for Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, and a further four more are currently under negotiation in Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Geelong.
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