The Queensland and New South Wales Governments, as well as the Gold Coast airport, have partnered up to build a new southern entryway at the airport.
The Queensland Government has committed $6.2 million to the project, which will create a new entrance to the busy airport precinct on the Queensland/New South Wales border, taking pressure off the Gold Coast Highway-Terminal Drive intersection.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said now was the time to start planning a second entrance to the airport.
“Before COVID-19 arrived, the Gold Coast Airport was the sixth busiest airport in Australia, with about 6.4 million people passing through its gates each year,” Mr Bailey said.
“Even with the drop off in flights, there are still more than 2,000 people employed in the airport precinct, making it one of the largest employment hubs on the Gold Coast.
“The Gold Coast Airport is the closest major airport for a large catchment of people in New South Wales, so it makes sense to build a new southern entryway which will take pressure off the northern entrance at Tugun.
“This project also adds to the planning our government is doing for future light rail and heavy rail services to meet at the airport.”
Mr Bailey said the Queensland Government would immediately commit $375,000 for planning and design for the future Gold Coast Airport access road and intersection as a 50:50 jointly-funded project with the New South Wales Government, and was in discussion with them about splitting the cost of the upgrade.
“The cost to build this new entryway is estimated to be about $12 million and, considering it will be constructed on the border, we will split the costs 50/50 with NSW,” Mr Bailey said.
“The New South Wales Government has already contributed funding for planning and expressed interest in that deal.
“My department has started discussions with their New South Wales counterparts and will work through the details as part of planning over the next twelve months.
“The Queensland Government will provide a capped amount of $6.2 million to the Gold Coast Airport to build the new entrance, and will ensure it is future-proofed to allow for integration of heavy and light rail connections.
“This is a project that would ordinarily be funded and delivered by the airport, but these aren’t ordinary times, and we need to look for opportunities to get local projects that support jobs happening sooner.
“I know the Member for Gaven has been a huge advocate for this project, meeting with the Premier and my office to discuss this project.”
Member for Gaven, Meaghan Scanlon, said getting the right transport mix to the Gold Coast Airport was important.
“With the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade on the M1 completed and the larger upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun underway, we’re making good progress on the roads for the Gold Coast,” Ms Scanlon said.
“We need to keep the momentum up though, and that’s why it’s so important to fund and plan these projects now.
“Not only will they help to ease congestion as communities on the southern Gold Coast grow, but they will support local jobs too.
“Making sure the Gold Coast has a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects is part of our plan to support the local economy’s recovery.”
Queensland Airports Limited CEO, Chris Mills, welcomed the commitment from the Queensland Government towards the southern entryway, which matched the funding from the New South Wales Government for the design component and provided support for the construction phase.
“This is a true cross-border project, and we are pleased to have support from both state governments for the design phase. We look forward to progressing with co-funding in the project delivery phase as well,” Mr Mills said.
“We expect most passengers will use this road to access the airport precinct – whether they are coming from Queensland or New South Wales.
“But this project will also improve traffic flow around the precinct for Southern Cross University students and guests in the newly built Rydges hotel.
“Once travel restrictions ease and our business begins to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, this project will be central to managing growth in this precinct for many years to come.”