The Gold Coast City Council appears poised to rejoin the Southeast Council of Mayors (COMSEQ) in an effort to snare its share of Olympic Games infrastructure funding. Reports are emerging that Gold Coast councillors will raise the issue at a full council meeting in the coming weeks. Gold Coast Council City Planning head councillor, Cameron Caldwell says it’s essential it be involved in planning for the Games. “I’m fully supportive of any move that sees us working better with our neighbours but making the most of that opportunity requires a change in approach and attitude,” he says. The Council has left and rejoined COMSEQ a few times in the past. It rejoined in April 2020 as part of the 2032 Olympic Games bid and left again in June 2021 with Mayor Tom Tate saying at the time, he was confident they could still get funding for transport and Olympic legacy projects without being part of the group.
Quote of the Week
“Without this decision, ordinary Australians, through no fault of their own, were in danger of losing not only their HomeBuilder grant but also their home deposits, which have taken them years to save – putting them in a worse situation than before the pandemic.”
UDIA national president Maxwell Shifman
Motorway Plans Motoring Along
A major road project on the Gold Coast will be upgraded to six lanes in some sections in an effort to help ease congestion. Work is about to start on the $2.16 billion Coomera Connector, which will include the construction of a 1km-long bridge across the Coomera River. The first stage is expected to remove 60,000-day trips from the M1. Initial plans were for the project to be four lanes, but Transport Minister Mark Bailey has revealed there will be six-lanes from the Smith Street Motorway to Helensvale Road. It is expected the work will be completed by 2026, although portions of the 16km road are expected to open and be in use before the project is finalised. The first sod was turned at Mangrove Jack Park at Hope Island last week. The project will include noise barriers at Saltwater Creek and Helensvale Road, and across the Coomera River bridge, as well a shared pedestrian path.
US Crisis Good For Australia
The current run on US banks and American bank collapses could actually spell good news for Australian mortgage holders. The banking turmoil in the United States means its Federal Reserve is rethinking whether it will continue with aggressive interest rate rises. The collapse of US banks is likely to take some steam out of its economy and inflation and reduce the need for further rate rises. While Australia has experienced ten consecutive rate rises, the interest rate is still well below the US. The Reserve Bank of Australia has cautiously been trying to bring down inflation through rate rises without causing a recession. Australia’s banking sector is often affected by what other members of the global central bank community do, therefore a halt in US rate rises could have a positive effect on what the RBA does in Australia. At the start of the Global Financial Crisis, when US banks collapsed the RBA slashed interest rates in Australia.
Big Games Infrastructure Spend
Australia is expected to pour $7 billion into infrastructure in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane. About $2.7 billion of that will be spent in Queensland on a number of projects including the redevelopment of The Gabba to increase its capacity to 50,000 seats. A new 17,000 seat indoor stadium will also be developed within Brisbane in time for the event. About 80% of infrastructure to be used during the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane is already in place. Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk says they need to provide infrastructure which will benefit locals long after the races have been run. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese agrees. “It is clear that we must do our part, not only to deliver the best games, but also to leave a lasting legacy for Queensland and everyone who visits this great state,” he says. Brisbane has never hosted the Olympic Games before, although it has hosted the Commonwealth Games.