It was good to see in a media statement yesterday the state government’s commitment to a second M1:
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.
Arguably, a second highway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane should have been built in the late nineties. The Goss Government (1989-96) had proposed building a second highway, but it turned out to be politically toxic, as it would have cut through koala habitat in Daisy Hill (see this GC Bulletin article), and it arguably contributed to the Goss Government’s eventual fall and replacement by the Borbidge Government (1996-98). This is an issue I covered in my 2018 book Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next:
By rejecting the second motorway to the Gold Coast in favour of an upgrade of the current highway, [the Borbidge Government] arguably only temporarily forestalled the inevitable capacity constraints that would eventually emerge, and which Goss government Transport Minister David Hamill had warned about. Interviewed for this book, David Hamill noted he had seen a transport model forecast that a widened existing motorway would reach full capacity by 2012. This appears to have been a reasonably accurate forecast. In early 2016, the Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said there was merit in considering a second motorway to the Gold Coast. And, somewhat ironically, in the 2017 election campaign the Liberal National Party supported an alternative route to the M1.
If you’re interested in learning more about Queensland’s political and economic history since the days of Sir Joh, particularly in the lead up to the 31 October election, please consider getting a copy of my book, if you haven’t already done so: