Oct
24

Coolangatta slated to be a second CBD on the Gold Coast in regional plans looking at next 25 years

Gold Coast Bulletin

COOLANGATTA is to be turned into a second CBD for the Gold Coast, with a plan to boost tourism and health in the area.

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The concept to turn the southern Gold Coast suburb into an economic hub was revealed in the State Government’s draft South East Queensland Regional Plan looking towards 2041, unveiled on the Gold Coast yesterday.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad gave the Government’s first substantive support for a light-rail connection to the airport when she spoke at the Local Government Association of Queensland state conference.

“We are determined that we continue the momentum of light rail down the Gold Coast,” she said.

“That means working with Mayor Tom Tate to look at planning for stage three.”

The plan shows a preferred corridor for the third stage running from the end of the light rail at Broadbeach, down to Coolangatta.

A second public transport corridor has also been reserved from the end of the heavy rail at Robina to the Gold Coast Airport.

These two public transport corridors will lead into what is being touted as a new centre for employment, cultural and entertainment activities, as well as centres for government services.

The plan to add an additional CBD is to help cope with the projected population of more than 930,000 by 2041.

Southport, Coomera and Robina are still expected to be considered economic areas.

The Gold Coast Airport has welcomed planning to put Coolangatta at the forefront of economic development and chief operating officer Marion Charlton said recent projects saw the airport employing more than 1000 extra people over the next five years. “As part of our master planning we continue to make provision for both light and heavy rail to the airport and we support the extension of these services to the airport,” she said.

A separate master plan for the airport is due for public comment later this month.

The Gold Coast Highway has also been flagged for higher-density living along the major traffic spine and public transport route.

The plan does not call for towers but rather a middle ground on the density, looking at things like duplexes and four or five-storey towers, rather than big, single-home blocks.

KPMG partner and demographer Bernard Salt said the increase in density was something all cities were experiencing as a way to cut infrastructure costs. Mr Salt said dedicating CBD spaces was also vital.

“We don’t want a case in 20 to 40 years where our kids are commuting to Brisbane to work,” he said.

Councillor Tate said the council would not publicly comment on the plan, which is open for public consultation until March 3.

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