Construction on the Gold Coast’s answer to New York’s iconic Central Park will soon begin as part of a post-COVID wave of economic stimulation projects.
The Gold Coast City Council is preparing to roll out several long-in-the-works projects next financial year, including The Greenheart and expanded bus and CCTV networks.
Artist impression of Greenheart, the Gold Coast’s new proposed parklands between Robina and Merrimac.
Mayor Tom Tate said city hall’s focus was turning to boosting the economy and creating jobs.
“After nine years as Mayor, it is safe to say the first year of this term has been the fastest and most intensive in my time in office on so many fronts,” he said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Picture: Jerad Williams
“The elephant in the room of course is COVID-19 and our focus is on our economy emerging from it, but while it’s been challenging, we have moved together as a team.
“But as we welcome more people from the cities of Melbourne, Sydney and eventually overseas we have to make sure we have money and jobs.”
Cr Tate and his colleagues were re-elected on March 28 last year but not sworn-in until mid-April, with counting delayed in several divisions including Surfers Paradise’s Division 10.
Work on stage one will begin this year.
With the COVID health threat largely behind the city, council’s attention has turned from immediate economic stimulus to long-term projects, including the central park and expanding the transport network.
Council last month threw its support behind expanded bus services in the city’s north, along with major construction of the light rail Broadbeach-to-Burleigh extension.
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.
It is expected to take 20 years to complete the project.
Once completed it will feature up to 15 sporting fields for codes such as Aussie rules, rugby league and soccer, and an events space that can host major events and festivals for more than 25,000 people and wetlands.
“It will be a 20-year build, but the first stage is budget to begin this year,” Cr Tate said.
“This is Central Park, Gold Coast style.”
Cr Tate said growing issues with youth crime made expanding the CCTV network a priority.
“Security is important and I want to double CCTV cameras.
“Those perpetrators who get caught and have to pay infringement notices will fund the next cameras and the cycle will go on.”
Originally published by the Hearld Sun HERE.