Southport Broadwater Parklands

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THE biggest children's playground on the Gold Coast will close as work starts on the $32 million development of the Southport Broadwater Parklands. But swimming will still be permitted in the popular netted lagoon at the site, on the side of the Gold Coast Highway opposite Australia Fair shopping centre. The development, which some say will be the Gold Coast's answer to Brisbane's South Bank, will take about 12 months to complete. During that time, the 3km of bikeways and walkways in the park and the swimming lagoon will stay open, but the nearby Broadwater car park will be shut, along with the park's playground, climbing statues and monorail ride. Southport-based city councillor Dawn Crichlow said yesterday that preliminary work would start at the park by the end of the month and the closures would follow soon after. It is hoped the car park will be reopened within six months. Until then, Cr Crichlow said day-trippers and local workers who previously parked at the Broadwater site could instead use Carey Park, opposite Australia Fair. When Premier Anna Bligh opens the redeveloped parkland next January, it will feature a tidal swimming pool twice the size of the existing lagoon, public-access jetties, a boat ramp, children's play areas and water features. But the Gold Coast City Council and State Government, which are funding the upgrade, are no closer to agreeing on whether coffee shops will be permitted to operate within the precinct. Cr Crichlow is pushing for the construction of some food and drink outlets broadwaterxe1.jpg 0582916500lu4.jpg

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