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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Gold Coast’s V8 motor race circuit has been finalised and the more compact route means the $949 million Gold Coast Rapid Transit system just got even better.

Premier Anna Bligh has announced that the street circuit for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 event means the preferred Gold Coast Rapid Transit route through Surfers Paradise can go ahead.

“The new V8 route has been shortened from 4.49 km to 2.96km and retains the chicane along Main Beach Parade, turning into Breaker Street and travelling west before turning onto the Gold Coast Highway,” she said.

“The circuit will turn towards Surfers Paradise Boulevard before taking a hairpin turn back onto the beach side of Surfers Paradise.

“That means the Gold Coast Rapid Transit Route can now follow the preferred Surfers Paradise Boulevard route instead of the Ferny Avenue option”

Premier Bligh said the highly beneficial alternate route option down Surfers Paradise Boulevard for GCRT was a “no brainer”.

“It will deliver a number of benefits including potential patronage increases of 4%, significant capital cost savings and a reduction in residential and commercial land impacts with an approximate saving of $15 million.

“This project was always going to deliver wonderful benefits to people on the Gold Coast. With this route through the centre of Surfers Paradise it just got even better.”

This superior transport outcome has strong local community and Gold Coast City Council support, including Mayor Ron Clarke, Councillor Suzie Douglas and key stakeholder groups.

Mayor Clarke said this announcement was welcome as businesses and residents had been pushing for this alteration for some time.

He said the new alignment was an opportunity revitalise the northern entrance to Surfers Paradise.

“It will be the trigger for redevelopment, provide clarity for traders and property owners and enable the project partners to begin detailed planning for a green entry boulevard,” Cr Clarke said.

The Premier said that for many years Surfers Paradise Boulevard was the original coast road and was the main artery through the heart of the city.

“The boulevard is a low speed, low traffic road environment. This means construction will be quicker and easier and disruption to Ferny Avenue through traffic will be kept to a minimum,” she said.

“Choosing this alignment is an opportunity to regenerate and activate the northern end of Surfers Paradise.

“It lends itself to creating a pedestrian friendly space with wider footpaths than on Ferny Avenue, the boulevard also has great potential to grow into a socially active and economically vibrant main street.

“Changing from Ferny Avenue to Surfers Paradise Boulevard will mean the light rail will pass closer to the places people live and work while providing easier access to the world famous Surfers Paradise beach.”

Ms Bligh said there had been extensive consultation between the project and V8 Supercars Australia.

“Collaborative discussions on design and operations will enable both the V8 Supercar event and the Gold Coast Rapid Transit system to operate simultaneously, an outcome previously thought to be unachievable,” she said.

During the major Gold Coast event, the operation of the light rail will be reduced to single track running through the interface area.

“This provides the added benefit of an efficient high quality public transport service moving people to and from the V8 motor race,” she said.

Member for Burleigh, Christine Smith, said she was delighted that the route has now been finalised.

"I think this is a good outcome for both the residents who live along the track, but also for business people in Surfers Paradise, who now have some certainty for the future."

The project the team will undertake consultation with key stakeholders and the community to inform them of the change and most directly affected property owners have already been advised of the anticipated impacts to their property.

Four additional properties are required for the revised Surfers Paradise Boulevard route in addition to seven properties that were already required for the Ferny Avenue route.

Of the four properties, three are partial takes of land only that don't impact on the building or structure on the land.

There is one potential full property take that will impact a residential property although it is not clear if this property is inhabited.

Stage One of the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project, a 13 kilometre corridor linking Griffith University at Southport to Broadbeach, is scheduled to begin operations in 2014.

Media contact: 07 32244500