Now the Commonwealth Games are over, all eyes are no longer on the Gold Coast. Yet, it seems someone forgot to tell them that. The Gold Coast boom is showing no sign of slowing up, with numerous infrastructure developments coming to the Gold Coast over the next few years. From a public ferry route to a $200 million cruise ship terminal and casino, here’s the low-down on the latest whispers of developments coming to the Gold Coast.
Ferry Route: Making the most of the waterways
Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, is proposing a new ferry route for the Gold Coast, with the core route running from the Home Of The Arts at Bundall to Surfers Paradise, through to Southport, Main Beach, Marina Mirage, Southport Pier, Seaworld, Doug Jennings Park, Wavebreak Island and Labrador. In addition to this, Mayor Tom Tate is also proposing an additional service to run to the Carrara Stadium on major event days and another service that extends out to Couran Cove and Tipplers which would run on the weekend.
This plan is expected to be presented to the Gold Coast Waterways authority before the end of the third quarter this year and would also require sign off by Marine Safety Queensland — in other words, it’s still a long way off becoming a reality yet. Councillor Tate is pushing a two year trial period with the State Government and has said the council will do its part by building the jetty infrastructure.
Utilising the existing river and canals for transport is expected to take 3,200 cars off the road every day, bolstering the Gold Coast’s public transport network as well as providing easy access to the other developments coming to the Gold Coast.
Light Rail: Full steam ahead for Stage 3A
Another boost to the transport network of the Gold Coast will be light rail Stage 3A, which extends the 6.7km from Broadbeach to South Burleigh. Similar to the structure of the existing network, Stage 3A will operate a dual-track down the middle of the Gold Coast Highway, with two lanes of car traffic on each side.
Council is currently working with the State Government to put together a business case for Stage 3A. Once this is complete (by the end of 2018) and funding is secured, the construction will begin. $112 million dollars has already been secured from the Federal Coalition and all indications suggest there will be no issues with state funding for this development.
Cruise Ship Terminal: Bilinga or Main Beach
That’s not even close to being the end of the list for large-scale developments coming to the Gold Coast. Recently, there has also been new interest in the proposal for a giant tourist hub to be built at Bilinga beach, currently a quiet area of the Gold Coast between Kirra and Tugun. This cruise ship terminal was first put on the table by developers Denis and Lester Hughes back in 2013. Since then the proposal has been redecorated and is now being pitched as a ‘state of the art recreation, leisure and tourism project’.
The Southern Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal would have room for three cruise ships and a shipping berth, 28 superyacht berths and a 560 berth marina, as well as six brand new resorts. In addition to this, there’s space for up to 14 apartment towers, restaurants, museums, exhibition space and 15 hectares of parkland. If it goes ahead, it’s expected to inject upwards of $2 billion into the economy, but Mayor Tom Tate is not on board.
He is backing a separate proposal, which pushes for a Cruise Ship Terminal at Main Beach, which would coincide with the State Government’s master plan for the Spit. This proposed development (dubbed the Gold Coast Integrated Resort & Cruise Ship Terminal) would be located at Phillip Park, Main Beach. With plans to integrate the Gold Coast’s second casino into the development, as well as internationally recognisable hotels, retail, residential and entertainment precincts, it’s hard to tell at this stage which plan promises the better outcome for the Gold Coast. The State Government will make a decision on this project by 2021, with construction expected soon afterwards, if it is approved.
Pimpama Aquatic Centre: Construction expected soon
Construction is expected to commence shortly for the $56 million sports mega centre at Pimpama. On completion, the Pimpama Aquatic Centre will feature an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a second outdoor pool plus a children’s “learn to swim pool”, nine full tennis courts, 12 netball courts, a gym with yoga studios and dance rooms and a community hall. This area will be a phenomenal boost to the Northern Gold Coast area, which is currently booming with housing and education developments. Pimpama is currently the second fastest growing suburb in Queensland, with a 30% growth rate in the last year alone. Along with the aquatic centre, the area is also expected to welcome new service roads, new library, sporting fields and landscaped community green space. This slew of community-centred development due to be completed by the end of 2020 and will be a welcomed addition alongside the other developments coming to the Gold Coast.
Palm Beach Shoreline Project: An artificial reef
A construction contract as recently been awarded for an $18.2 million artificial offshore reef to be constructed off Palm Beach. The primary function of this will be for coastal protection, diverting wave energy to create a permanent solution to the sand loss on Palm Beach. In addition to this, the reef will also create a brand new surf break, which will be a welcomed addition to the area. The reef will begin construction in May 2019 and will be complete before summer 2019/2020.