Queensland

Pacific Motorway crash highlights need for new Brisbane-Gold Coast project

A 15-year-old plan to preserve land for an alternative to the congested Pacific Motorway, a plan quietly dumped by the previous Queensland government, is back on track.

The plan to preserve the land needed for the $500 million four-lane road project from Coomera to Jacobs Well had been removed from the then-evolving 2015 Gold Coast City Plan by the previous LNP government in May 2014, which Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate described as "an extremely retrogressive step" in a letter to then-Transport Minister Scott Emerson on May 5, 2014.

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South-east Queensland's mayors raised the issue recently, highlighting a recent funding bid for the future road –called the Inter-Regional Transport Corridor.

"The proposed project would provide an alternative north-south route to the Pacific Motorway between Stapylton-Jacobs Well Road and Nerang-Broadbeach Road," it says.

"The project would reduce pressure on the Pacific Motorway, provide alternative traffic routes if there is an incident on the motorway and will assist in the development of expected high growth areas of the city, particularly the Coomera Town Centre."

The plan re-emerged in sharp focus after Tuesday's truck crash and fire closed the Pacific Motorway in both directions for hours, the same day the 2015 Gold Coast City Plan came into force.

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After questioning from Fairfax Media on Wednesday, the corridor will again be included in the Gold Coast's City Plan.

"The IRTC will be reflected as future state road corridor in the Gold Coast City Plan 2015 once it has been gazetted," Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey said.

"The state government is working through the formal processes required to gazette the Intra-Regional Transport Corridor between Stapylton and Nerang.

"This is a project for the long-term but we're doing the planning now."

The proposed future road runs east of the southern section of the Pacific Motorway.

It is understood much of the land has been re-zoned.

Frustrated Gold Coast sources said the project was also linked to several future jobs growth prospects around Coomera and badly needed to be re-assessed.

"This is an arterial route for south-east Queensland all the way to Logan and to Brisbane," Cr Tate said.

"And if you add all of that up that is about one-seventh of the people in Australia that live along that way."

Since 2000, Gold Coast planners have included a stretch of land from Coomera to Jacobs Well in planning documents as future alternative to the congested Pacific Motorway, and the future corridor is contained in the Gold Coast Transport Strategy 2031.

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