A giant parkland two-thirds the size of New York’s iconic Central Park will be created on the Gold Coast.
Greenheart will cover 220ha, stretching from Robina to Carrara, making it six times the size of the Southport Broadwater Parklands and rival Sydney’s Centennial Parklands.
Plans developed by council staff in the past year and proposed features include:
* Up to 15 sporting fields for codes such as Aussie rules, rugby league and soccer, making it larger than Miami’s Pizzey Park, with a strong focus on women’s and junior sports.
* Purpose-built clubhouses with room for multiple community organisations to share facilities.
* An events space which can host major events and festivals for more than 25,000 people.
* Major wetland restoration that will lead to it becoming Australia’s largest urban reforestation project.
* More than 10km of walking and cyclist paths, bushwalks and elevated boardwalks through the wetlands.
* Major playgrounds, cafes, restaurants and wedding locations.
* There will be femoral wetlands which can reoxygenate and “polish” the water.
The parklands will border the heavy railway line and Cbus Super Stadium at its southern and western boundaries, and Robina Parkway and Boowaggan Road in the east and north.
No costings have been done yet. However, the project is expected to be fast-tracked so that a masterplan can be developed in the next financial year.
Construction is expected to begin within three years and the project completed in stages over a 10-year period.
Mayor Tom Tate said the parkland would be one of the biggest projects of the next generation.
“The Greenheart project for our city is the most significant open space project in the city’s history and it is at the geographic centre of our city,” he said.
“It is a green heart and the lungs for our growing city which will help combat carbon emission increases.
“Each year an additional 12-15,000 people choose to call the Gold Coast home and by 2050 this city will need to provide sporting facilities for an extra 20,000 participants than we have each week.
“This is essential if we are to meet the needs of our growing city. The significance of this project is that it will be a major attraction destination and you will see why.”
The plans will be unveiled to councillors next month at their first meeting after the March 28 election.
The $15 million Robina City Parklands, already under construction, will now become the first stage of the project.
No land purchases will be required as the council bought the property 15 years ago during the mayoralty of the late Ron Clarke.
Its sporting fields are expected to be used for training purposes by international teams if southeast Queensland’s bid for the 2032 Olympic Games is successful.
Much of the future parklands site is a floodplain but council planning staffers will design the sporting fields to be able to drain rapidly.
New roads and green bridges will be built as part of the project.
The events space is expected to be used to attract major music festivals back to the city.
The Greenheart project enjoys broad backing among city leaders.
Nerang councillor Peter Young said he had always supported the project while Carrara councillor Bob La Castra said it would become a “gem’ for the Gold Coast.
“There is a lot happening moving into the masterplan and it something which has been planned for many years … it will be our Central Park,” he said.
“Just driving past it, people really have no idea just what is in there but is an absolute gem.”
Robina’s Cr Hermann Vorster said the parkland would provide a significant attraction for the Gold Coast.
“I absolutely welcome this,” he said. “I think it is a natural consequences of little steps we have taken to this point and important we area to just dealing with parkland but we are also meeting the unmet demand for extra sporting infrastructure events space.”
Originally published by Andrew Potts in the Gold Coast Bulletin HERE.