Residents living in the path of south-east Queensland’s future Coomera Connector say they feel trapped in limbo as they wait for their properties to be bulldozed for the major road project.
- Work on the first phase of the Coomera Connector will start later this year
- 28 homes will being demolished to make way for the second phase, but the timing is uncertain
- Transport Minister Mark Bailey said a timeline would be set in the “next year or two”
The new 45-kilometre corridor will link Logan to the northern Gold Coast, offering an alternative to the congested M1.
Construction of the first stage of the project — from Nerang to Coomera — will begin later this year, while the second phase — from Coomera to Loganholme — is some years away.
Some residents along that route say they have been told their homes will be demolished but they do not know when.
“I feel a bit cheated … not being communicated to makes you think you’re not going to get treated fairly,” Alberton resident Peter Stephens said.
Mr Stephens built his family home more than a decade ago on a nine-acre block on the banks of the Albert River.
In 2019, he received notice from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) that his land was required to build the road.
Since then, Mr Stephens said he had been “left in the dark” about the project and had received no time frame for when his property would be bulldozed.
“Even an indication to say you’ve got five years, or you’ve got 10 years, nothing,” he said.
Mr Stephen’s house is one of 28 properties in Eagleby, Stapylton and Alberton that will be demolished to make way for the road. Another 117 privately owned properties will be at least partially resumed.
Mr Stephens said the wait for answers was creating uncertainty for his young daughter.
“My daughter is autistic, she’s eight and she struggles a lot at school academically,” he said.
“I see this place here as a learning environment for her.
“Everything we’ve built, the lifestyle we have … everything will have to be replaced.”
Road ‘desperately needed’
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said a business case for the northern route would be prepared “over the next year or two” to determine when land resumptions would begin.
“For a piece of infrastructure this large, that’s actually a relatively modest number of properties required,” Mr Bailey said.
“We are never going to achieve 100 per cent support for any particular option. When you build big infrastructure, there’s going to be a diversity of views.”
Mr Bailey said the department had been transparent and was committed to ongoing community consultation throughout various stages of the project.
“This is a desperately needed road,” he said.
“Northern Gold Coast suburbs are some of the fastest growing suburbs in the whole nation, let alone the state.”
Eagleby cane farmer Mick Herse said the road would claim about seven hectares of his land, which his family had owned for more than 150 years.
“It will take away our only fresh water supply,” Mr Herse said.
“It will surround the property with highway in every direction.”
Mr Herse said his questions to transport officials had gone unanswered for more than two years.
“I’m properly pissed,” he said.
“You’re going to take something away from everybody. It’s just nobody knows when, why or for how much
Some residents also fear the gazetted road corridor will devastate the ecologically significant Eagleby Wetlands.
“It’s a very extensive complex – it’s host to close to 300 bird varieties, some of them migratory,” Marilyn Goodwin from the Eagleby Community and Wetlands Group said.
“This [road] would effectively lock all of the residents of Eagleby, around 14,000 people, in a horseshoe of noise, sound and pollution — as well as losing this beautiful green space.”
The state government says the chosen route will have the smallest footprint on homes and the environment, but Ms Goodwin says her group will continue to advocate for alternative options.
“It’s unfair, it’s not transparent and it doesn’t take any of the community interests into account,” she said.