THE Gold Coast’s winning bid at the weekend to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games will deliver a much needed boost to major infrastructure projects.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says more than $500 million will be invested in sport and transport infrastructure.
"We will see new sporting facilities, improved transport and a new Health and Knowledge Precinct adjacent to the $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital,” says Bligh.
"The games will also act as a catalyst to fast-track infrastructure development.”
The money will be used to construct badminton and mountain bike facilities, a squash complex and the Coomera Sports Precinct. Seating capacity will be increased at Metricon Stadium (from 25,000 to 40,000) and upgrades will be undertaken at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, Gold Coast Hockey Centre and Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
Works on the Gold Coast Rapid Transit, widening of the Smith Street Motorway and duplication of the railway line between Helensvale and Coomera are earmarked for fast-tracking.
The Bligh Government estimates the Games will generate up to $2 billion in economic benefits and 30,000 full-time jobs between the years 2015 and 2020.
Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman says the local economy will benefit from the games.
“The Gold Coast will enjoy the benefits of the games long before 2018 with the infrastructure upgrades creating more local jobs,” says Newman.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire world-class sporting facilities that can be used for training and more regular state and national competitions.”
But Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid chairman Mark Stockwell says an arduous task lies ahead.
"A lot of very hard work went into the bid but it doesn’t stop there – we need to put the same amount of energy and passion in to prepare and deliver the very best event the Commonwealth has ever known,” says Stockwell.
"We do need to reinforce our capabilities as a serious business community with strengths across a number of diverse industries."
Airtrain chairman Mike Pelly says the games should promote environmentally friendly travel.
“We look forward to working closely with the Gold Coast team to ensure the Commonwealth
Games remain the Green Games,” says Pelly.
“Commencing Monday December 12, 2011 people will be getting more evening trains to and from the (Brisbane) Airport when Airtrain introduces extended services.
“These new services extended to 10pm, will go a long way to satisfying all the national and international travellers who will be landing in Brisbane bound for the Gold Coast.”
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