The Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plan will be significantly boosted with a $755 million commitment to build the 16-kilometre stage one of the Coomera Connector – popularly known as the ‘second M1’ – between Nerang and Coomera.
Funding for the second M1, which will support over 700 jobs, is the centrepiece of the Palaszczuk Government’s $830 million Gold Coast roads infrastructure and jobs package that also includes funding to upgrade Exit 45 at Ormeau, the Coomera park ‘n’ ride and the Currumbin Creek Road/Bienvenue Street intersection.
Making the major announcement on the Gold Coast today, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said construction on the second M1 would start within 12 months.
“My government has always delivered for the Gold Coast and today we’re adding to the pipeline of job-creating projects which will fix traffic bottlenecks and support growing communities,” the Premier said.
“This is all part of Queensland’s economic recovery plan to invest in major infrastructure projects and to create jobs to help steer us through these challenging times.
“More than 700 new jobs will be created as we build the second M1, adding to the 1600 jobs that will be supported by my government on the M1 upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun and the light rail construction over the next few years.”
The Premier said since elected, her government has delivered two major M1 upgrades between the Gold Coast and Brisbane and has two more under construction.
“We’ve also delivered stage two of Gold Coast Light Rail from the hospital to Helensvale, early works have started on the $709 million third stage to Burleigh and we’ve announced funding for a business case for stage four to the airport via Coolangatta,” the Premier said.
“And we delivered the Exit 54 upgrade at Coomera, we’re about to start work on several more M1 exit upgrades and we’ll build three new Gold Coast trains stations as part of Cross River Rail.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said Queensland’s strong borders had ensured that construction of major projects had not been significantly impacted through the pandemic.
“These projects are ready to go because we’ve worked hard to protect the health of Queenslanders,” the Treasurer said.
“It’s because we’ve managed the health response that we can focus on our economic recovery and keeping major projects and the state’s economy moving ahead.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project would take up to 60,000 vehicles off the M1 at its busiest section around the Coomera River every day.
“Building the second M1 is not just about improving travel times and providing an important local connection road for residents and businesses on the northern Gold Coast, but it’s also about busting congestion on the M1 itself,” he said.
“Getting this project to construction stage has been our priority since being elected in 2015.
“It still astounds me that the LNP cut the second M1 out of future road planning documents and failed to spend a single new dollar on the M1.
“That one short-sighted decision set back progress on Gold Coast road upgrades for three years, as did the LNP’s decision to cut $1.6 billion from Queensland’s roads budget, including $100 million cut from Gold Coast road projects.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government restored funding after the LNP’s cuts, preserved the road corridor, completed planning, finalised design and started the business case for the second M1.
“Today we’ve committed half of the funding to build stage one, with the other half expected to be covered by the Federal Government.
“Labor delivers for the Gold Coast, and I’m proud that the Palaszczuk Labor government is bringing the biggest ever road project in Gold Coast history to fruition – a mammoth $1.5 billion plan to build the first stage of the second M1.
“Contrast our record of strong delivery on Gold Coast roads and transport with an LNP record of deep cuts to the Gold Coast and billions of dollars in unfunded promises that will only be paid for by more LNP cutting, sacking and selling of assets.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the Gold Coast transport package demonstrated the Palaszczuk Government’s vision for an infrastructure and jobs-led economic recovery.
“The Palaszczuk Government has clearly outlined its plans for future light rail and heavy rail connections to service the southern Gold Coast communities and the Gold Coast airport,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Our government is partnering with the City of Gold Coast to look at more high frequency east-west services, including future east-west light rail and bus priority opportunities to connect to Metricon Stadium, and we’re investing in better bikeways to support different ways to travel.
“Building the second M1 is the next major road priority, with construction of the $1 billion M1 upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun well underway.
“The second M1 will start in my electorate and is a project I’ve pushed hard for on behalf of our community since I was elected.
“I’m proud to be part of a Labor government that has and backed investments in road and rail projects that are transforming our city and delivering what we need on the Gold Coast.