Flurry of Coast rapid transit resumptions

TAXPAYERS have forked out more than $16.5 million in the past year to bankroll the purchase of properties along the Gold Coast's rapid transit route.

Documents obtained by The Bulletin reveal a flurry of acquisitions, with 42 apartments and homes bought by the Department of Transport and Main Roads over the past 12 months.

The State Government is yet to finalise the purchase of a further 131 properties, which border the light rail track running from Griffith University to Broadbeach.

 

The billion dollar transport system, which is running years behind schedule, will impact on a further 111 residents who are likely to receive compensation for partial resumptions and visual amenity issues.

A total of $170 million has been budgeted for resumptions along the 13km light rail route.

According to the latest property information on RP Data, the State Government has paid between $210,000 and $1.8 million to acquire apartments in Southport and Surfers Paradise.

There are a number of other property owners haggling with the State Government over cash offers that have been laid on the table.

If the designated properties are not acquired, sources say the entire project could be stalled in 'sensitive areas'.

In July, TransLink confirmed it had settled 26 purchase agreements.

The project team will go ahead with controversial works, which includes the forced acquisition of property and work on affected properties, late next year.

At Southport, the 54-year-old Queens Park Tennis Club will be resumed and rebuilt elsewhere.

The Southport Croquet Club will also be relocated.

Neighbouring properties, including the Swan Lane apartment complex, will be fully resumed.

There has been public anger about inconsistencies in some purchases.

Two-bedroom units in the same block at Southport were sold at a $300,000 difference while a small house in Scarborough Street, with a land value of $285,000, was snapped up by the State Government for $1.7 million in December last year.

The Department of Transport already owns large parcels of land along Brisbane Road and the old Gold Coast Highway to Helensvale.

There is enough land to run a rapid transit link from the Harbour Town Shopping Centre to the Helensvale rail station.


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