Forde MP Bert van Manen has commended the Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher’s additional funding grant to the Coomera Connector but says the Eagleby Wetlands habitat deserve to be protected from the proposed route.
Earlier this week, the Federal Government announced that it would be spending an additional $300 million on South-East Queensland’s “second M1” to cover expected blow-outs.
Construction of Stage 1 of the project between Nerang and Coomera is expected to begin shortly, with a gazetted road corridor identified and land bought-out by the State Government.
However concerns remain over Stage 3, linking Loganholme with Stapylton, a route which is projected to pass through a local environmental habitat in Eagleby.
Forde MP Bert van Manen says that he was pleased about the delivery of funding to communities in the Gold Coast part of his electorate to ease their daily commute.
“For my community in Upper Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau that are trying to get down to the Gold Coast, a second crossing of the Coomera River that Stage 1 will provide will be critically important.
“The M1 on that patch now is so busy at times that it slows to a crawl because all of that traffic is funneled over the Coomera River at that point.
However, he intends to consult the Federal Infrastructure and Environment Ministers to raise his concerns over the impact of Stage 3 on the suburb of Eagleby, and its surrounding wetlands.
He says he believes that the corridor could also connect more closely with the booming population of nearby communities such as Redland Bay.
“The environmental concerns haven’t been addressed.
“I’m still of the view that the design of the northern part of the Coomera Connector doesn’t adequately reflect the growing community of the Redlands, through a route that would connect further to the East.
“For the route around Eagleby, that’s a discussion I intend to have with Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Minister Bailey, who I have had a good working relationship in the past.”
Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads have released a peer-reviewed assessment of alternative routes for the Coomera Connector
The report states that the gazetted Coomera Connector Alignment provided “the best overall outcome compared to the alternative alignments.”
Regarding concerns about the Eagleby Wetlands, the assessment findings state that the proposed route “impacts the environment to a level that can be mitigated through design and construction, but avoids matters of national and international environmental significance north of the Logan River.”
Notably, this does not include the Eagleby Wetlands.
Eagleby Wetlands and Community Group President Marilyn Goodwin says the habitat deserved to be protected.
“We believe that the wetlands are much too important to lose.
“The state government have not provided a comprehensive environmental impact study.
“They gave us a two-page document, which didn’t provide much detail.”