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Robina wins the NRL cliff-hanger
The Coast's new rugby league stadium will be built at Robina.
The Gold Coast City Council made its choice yesterday after weeks of angst and speculation.
Councillors took less than an hour to unanimously accept land owner Robina Land Corporation's final offer, which came in slightly under $17 million.
Mayor Ron Clarke said the 5ha site near the railway station, the favoured option from day one, was the 'best deal' for ratepayers and football fans.
Councillors chose the Robina site over a rival bid at Nerang because of its central location, position above flood level, and its proximity to Robina Town Centre and other economic hubs.
Queensland Treasurer Terry Mackenroth, who said the Government would build and run the stadium provided the council provided the land, said the choice was the most sensible one.
"It is also close to a commercial hub in the Robina Town Centre which will provide vitality to the precinct, much like what Caxton Street does for Suncorp Stadium," he said.
Robina Land Corporation (RLC) chief executive Richard Wyatt said he was delighted Robina had won the bid, although he was disappointed about the final price. He said the RLC could have gained a better outcome on the open market.
"The price is disappointing, but we are now looking at this in the context that it will bring the stadium to Robina, which is obviously a good thing for the area," he said.
"Price is a historical issue. Now we are going to concen-trate on what we can do in the precinct to make sure the stadium is a success."
A range of entertainment, hospitality, residential and office developments are mooted for vacant land near the stadium. "That's what we need to create around it to make it work," he said.
Although council involvement in the stadium ends with the land purchase, the hard work has just begun for the State Government.
Mr Mackenroth said the Major Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) would start work straight away to build the stadium by the 2008 season. "Planning will get under way immediately," he said.
The MSFA will now call for design proposals for its stadium.
"Our design brief to companies will stress the need for the stadium to reflect the identity of the Coast. Once MSFA decide on a preferred design, the construction phase will commence," he said.
"Upon completion, this stadium will be a fully functional, quality rugby league, rugby union and soccer venue."
He said a project cost would not be known until a competitive tender process was finalised.
It is understood the stadium cost will be about $100 million.
Although the stadium will sit on 5ha, the RLC deal includes 2ha for car parking.
The stadium was awarded to Robina despite a last-minute attempt by rival land owners at Nerang to undercut the bid. Japanese landowner Club Cavill slashed its asking price to $16 million from $24 million, in a bid to outdo the council-favoured Robina site.
Source: The Gold Coast Bulletin - http://www.gcbulletin.com.au
Robina's spot on for new team
The Gold Coast NRL Consortium has received another major boost in preparing for its entry into the NRL with this afternoon?s confirmation that Robina will be the home ground for the fledgling franchise.
Managing Director Michael Searle said, ?This is great news for us and for the city. It means that we have absolute certainty about the location of the site and it means that the state government can now move to the next phase of planning and building the stadium.?
The site is a 5 hectare parcel of land near the Robina Rail Station, adjacent to Robina Town Centre and in close proximity to the M1.
?The Robina site has been the preferred option held by most of the stakeholders. All the necessary infrastructure is there and the potential for a Commercial precinct including restaurants and other retail outlets makes it attractive as far as planning the broader ancillary aspects of such a development goes,? said Searle.
The decision ends 7 weeks of speculation and some controversy about the location of the stadium. A number of sites were looked at including Carrara, two parcels of land at Nerang, one at Reedy Creek, one at Coomera and two at Robina.
Searle said, ?We understand the work carried out by council officers was significant and it was important that all relevant information was available because there is an enormous amount of permanency in the outcome so detailed measures had to be taken to ensure the decision was the right one.?
The council voted unanimously on the Robina option late this afternoon.
Source: Gold Coast RLFC - http://www.goldcoastrugbyleague.com.au
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