Coomera Station upgrades to deliver more parking spaces

In a bid to encourage more Gold Coasters off the road and onto public transport, Coomera Station is getting a huge upgrade which will see over 1000 car parking spaces available to commuters.

An extra 74 spots are about to open, with stage 1 of the project to be complete by next month.

While stage 2 will deliver 435 spaces in a brand-new car park, and Stage 3 will reconfigure the existing car park to lift the available spaces to over 1000 by early 2023.

State Transport Minister Mark Bailey says the upgrades are incredibly important to keep up with the City’s booming population.

“A big part of encouraging more people onto public transport is providing options for accessing frequent train services,” Minister Bailey says.

“The availability of car parking spaces to get on the train network is really important, we’ll only see more and more passengers using the trains and being able to conveniently drop the car and get on the train – it’s something really important to keep cars off the M1.”

The upgrades are part of the $17 million dollar package, jointly funded by the State Government and the Commonwealth.

The project will also include increased disability parking, a new bus layover, a secure bike shelter and lockers, safer footpaths and upgraded lighting as well as improved CCTV.

It comes as new census data shows that around 68% of Gold Coasters don’t use public transport, with the local and State Government desperately trying to change that.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says it’s important to make transport easily accessible, especially to the growing area of the Northern Gold Coast.

“An initiative like this shows that we really want people to utilise public transport post covid, the confidence is back,” Mayor Tate says.

“Understandably, with the pandemic, people are standoffish and wearing masks, but now that’s over, we’re getting on with life,

“So the key initiative now between the State and City Council is that we want people to use public transport.”

Delivering the upgrades in stages allows the existing spaces to stay available and minimise the impact on the nearly 15,000 commuters who use Coomera station each week.

Big boost to Gold Coast water cops as part of SEQ police funding

Southeast Queensland will receive an extra 35 cops over the next 12 months to deal with increased demand in the growing region.

The Gold Coast Water Police will be boosted by three officers, with top cops still deciding on exactly where the other officers will be placed.

The expansion of boots on the ground is part of the State Government’s 2022-23 budget funding for police.

Police Minister Mark Ryan says it’s one of the biggest increases to the Queensland Police Service ever.

“What that means is every single policing region will receive a boost,” Minster Ryan says.

“I’m very pleased that the Commissioner’s made the decision around boosting numbers here in the south-eastern region, as well as also endorsing the boost here at the Gold Coast Water Police.”

Currently, the coast’s Water Police department has about 14 officers, meaning adding three gives about 20% uplift.

The Gold Coast has around 800 navigable waterways and 400 canals, making it the biggest system in the Southern Hemisphere.

Police say the boost is important to ensure water police can respond to community safety on the water, but also to search and rescue disasters and emergencies.

While the increase of 35 officers across the south east is much-needed to tackle issues such as domestic violence and youth crime, both very prevalent in the region.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Swan says the extra officers will really help with how much the city is growing each year.

“What we’ve seen is significant increase in our growth in this region,” Assistant Commissioner Swan says.

“The numbers that we’ve put in the northern Gold Coast and actually in Logan as well, we hope will make a difference.”

In total, the State Government have promised there will be 2,025 extra police personnel by 2025.

Qld the ‘tourism capital’ as Gold Coast bounces back from COVID

Queensland has been crowned Australia’s number one tourism destination with the Gold Coast benefiting from the surge in people flocking back to the Sunshine State.

Tourists stayed longer and spent more money in Queensland than in any other state.

Surprisingly, it’s the first time Queensland has come out on top.

Figures from Tourism Research Australia show Queensland welcomed 20.8 million visitors in the 12 months to March.

The Gold Coast saw 9.4 million people visit the city over the year, including more than 3.2 million overnight visitors and almost 6.2 million day-trippers.

Overnight visitors stayed a total of 12 million nights, making us the 7th top destination in the country.

Total overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland hit $17.9 billion putting the state above New South Wales and Victoria.

The Gold Coast saw almost $3.8 billion dollars pumped into the local economy from both overnight and day visitors.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan says it’s a huge step back in the right direction, but the recovery still has a way to go.

“We’re still a fair way from our full numbers in 2019, where we welcomed 14.4 million visitors and we were $5.9 billion in terms of our economy. But what this shows is that we’re rebounding strongly,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

“I think what’s also exciting is interstate visitors are coming back significantly. So we welcomed a significant share of Sydney-ites, and Melbourne-ites, which is fantastic.”

“But, really positive as well, since February this year, welcoming up to 14,000 international visitors.”

The Gold Coast is also in the middle of another school holiday boom with hotel occupancy hitting as high as 85 per cent while the airport is at 10 per cent above pre-COVID levels.

 

Police appeal for public help to find missing Gold Coast man

Concerns are held for a 56-year-old man missing from Brisbane since last week, with police launching an appeal for assistance from the public.

Glen Guild has connections to and usually resides in the Burleigh Waters area on the Gold Coast.

He was last seen in Wollongabba on Ipswich Road near the intersection of O’Keefe street around 1.30pm on June 22.

Glen was spotted on foot and heading towards Brisbane City.

Residents in and around Woolloongabba are asked to check under their houses, in sheds and carports for signs of Glen.

Police and family have concerns for his welfare as he has a medical condition that requires medication which he may not have access to.

He is described as Caucasian in appearance, 160cm tall with a slim build and greying short brown hair.

He was last wearing white/grey shorts, a white t-shirt, long grey hoodie and brown slip on shoes.

Police are urging Glen, or anyone else with information on his whereabouts, to contact them.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Smoke warning as hazard burns continue on Gold Coast

Residents in Arundel and surrounding suburbs are being warned to expect smoke in the area with a hazard reduction burn due to get underway today.

Crews will conduct the burn in The O’Brien & Proud Families Park at Arundel, weather permitting.

The burn will concentrate on an area bordered by Brisbane Rd, Arun Drive and behind the industrial area on Harrington St.

The operation is expected to continue until Friday.

Smoke could impact parts of Arundel as well as Coombabah, Parkwood and Biggera Waters.

Residents are urged to close their windows, bring in the washing and take care if suffering from a medical condition.

IMAGE: City of Gold Coast