The Coomera Connector (or M2):
This is a proposed 4-6 lane highway with speeds up to 100km/h which will run roughly parallel to the east of the M1 and which is purported to remove 60,000 vehicles from the M1 and reduce congestion on the M1. However the end result will be 14 lanes of traffic from the Gold Coast to the Logan Motorway and no increase in public transport patronage.
At present there is funding of $1.53 billion for Stage 1 only and the project will begin mid-year with the construction of the Coomera River Bridge. Stage 1 is from Nerang to Coomera. Public consultation is likely in the first half of 2021.
There are many impacts of such a major road as detailed below and Gecko is requesting the following to address these to some degree:-
More detail on the impacts can be seen below.
The increase of 6 lanes of traffic on the proposed Coomera Connector will not reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that the Government has stated it wants to reduce because it continues to encourage the use of fossil fuelled cars. Further the Coomera Connector will result in the destruction of considerable hectares of vegetation that at present is sequestering carbon so adding to the problem. Offsets are needed for greenhouse gas emissions as well as wildlife habitat destroyed by this road.
Current situation: There have been several opportunities for public consultation for Stage 1 from Nerang to Pimpama and the establishment of a community reference group and there will be additional public consultation this year. Gecko has made several substantial submissions citing issues with greenhouse gas emissions, noise and air pollution, destruction of habitat including koala habitat, severing of communities etc and the failure of TMR to promote and provide public transport as an alternative. Requests for a copy of the alternatives or ‘Options Report’ has been refused Gecko is working with Coomera Conservation Group and others in trying to get the best outcome for wildlife through offsets, relocation and wildlife movement systems. The campaign is ongoing. Stage 2 from Pimpama to Eagleby is even more damaging to koala habitat and the wetlands and there is a very active group in Eagleby opposing this.