Sep
05

City leaders have welcomed the $3 billion casino development for Spit but say traffic must be fixed

Gold Coast Bulletin

CITY leaders have welcomed plans for a $3 billion casino development but there are concerns over the Florida Keys-style bridge as a traffic solution for The Spit.

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ASF Consortium and James Packer’s Crown Resorts have stuck a deal with the Palaszczuk Government to proceed with its integrated resort and casino project.

The development, which is expected to include up to three towers, would also include a bridge between Southport and The Spit.

However, with roads between the Spit and central business districts already congested each weekend, both opponents and supporters alike say solving the transport conundrum was the most pressing issue

Mayor Tom Tate congratulated the government on its role in the “job-creating project” but admitted there would be challenges in realising it.

Cr Tate said he had “constant talks” with the State Government but was unable to discuss the details of those talks because of “probity” reasons.

The discussions are understood to be commercial in confidence.

“Council will play a role in the traffic issue and we have had talks with the state to work out a traffic solution.

“I would say, depending on the locality of it, the idea of a bridge is good but I have other ideas which are low-hanging fruit and can be incorporated.”

The Bulletin understands a light-rail spur line and clearways are some of the options city hall is pushing as part of the region’s traffic solution.

Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek called for a masterplan of The Spit, while Save our Broadwater’s Judy Spence warned that infrastructure, such as tunnel, would likely cost more than $700 million.

While there would be no cruise ship in the proposal, neighbouring theme park Sea World would reportedly double in size to become Australia’s largest.

ASF director Louise Chien could not comment on details of the project but said he was happy with its progress.

“This has been a very collaborative approach and we have worked well with the government,” he said.

“We have mutually aligned objectives to provide economic benefits for the Gold Coast.”

But there are fears the new bridge could hurt the city’s boating industry.

Southport Yacht Club general manager Brett James said he knew nothing about the plans for the development yesterday and.

“They would have to relocate the club north of the bridge for it to work,” Mr James said.

“If (The State Government) gave us a new parcel of land near the Marine Stadium we could build a new marina.

But Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe moved to reassured concerned stakeholders.

He vowed there would be“extensive” consultation about the bridge and other infrastructure.

“The government is working closely with the proponents, establishing a process for engaging and assessing what is proposed and that it will be the subject of significant community consultation,” he said.

“We are not going to sit back and presume what people think and I am interested to see what ideas there are.”

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