Second GC motorway should have been built decades ago – BODBTN extract

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:

Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next: Queensland’s Public Finances since Sir Joh and Sir Leo

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2 Responses to Second GC motorway should have been built decades ago – BODBTN extract

  1. Russell Rogers says:

    Gene, Politics is a difficult business, the art of compromise. The path of the alternaive motorway back in Goss days did have problems. I don’t know the solution to that. The Wolfdene dam is a great example of short term politics overtaking long term stratgic investment and forcasting. The other smaller proposed Treveston dam near Gympie is another one. We can’t just ignore the environmental issues but they also can’t be the only determinant to making decision. In the current days of social media being the loudest voice we seem to be getting worse not better. Look at the state lockdowns….and the people love it because as yet they can’t see the real pain to come. Or, they live in nirvana and thing the govermnet will always come to the rescue. I have honestly given up on quality political decsion making from both sides.

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