Upgrade: Way to go
TWEED businesses have welcomed the Federal Government's $1 billion commitment to upgrade the M1 and believe it will ease congestion and draw tourists to the area.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed $1b on Monday to widen the M1 at both ends, but only if the Queensland Government agreed to match it dollar-for-dollar.
The proposal includes widening the M1 between Varsity Lakes and Tugun from four to six lanes, while up north it will be widened from six to eight lanes on the Brisbane stretch between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill.
Tweed Chamber of Commerce president and Tweed Shire councillor Warren Polglase said he was "very happy” with the announcement.
"A lot of people leave the Tweed to work on the Gold Coast or further up so for them it will be of great benefit,” he said.
Cr Polglase said he was unsure if the project would bring economic benefit to the Tweed as that would be like "looking in a crystal ball”.
"We would hope it has some spin-offs for the businesses, but only time will tell on that,” he said.
Murwillumbah District Business Chamber president Ilze Jaunberzins said the funding would benefit businesses by allowing consumers to travel "faster and safer”.
"I think from a consumer perspective it's very good because traffic will be able to flow much better and commuters can get to their destination easier,” she said.
Kingscliff and District Chamber of Commerce president Mark Humphries said the announcement was "fantastic”.
"Commute time by the tourists, visitors and operators out of Kingscliff will be reduced. It's a positive story from our point of view,” he said.
"One of our members manufactures bread in Kingscliff and delivers at both ends of the Gold Coast, so that's a major upgrade for him and will ease the travel time and congestion.”
But there are no guarantees the upgrade will go ahead. So far Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Transport Minister Mark Bailey have rejected the Prime Minister's pledge for both levels of government to split the $2 billion.
Mr Bailey argued the Federal Government should fund the M1 on an 80:20 basis like other national roads.