Project Description:

goldcoast_corridor_heritage_study_brick_bungalowConverge Heritage + Community conducted a Concept Design Impact Assessment (CDIMP) in relation to historical cultural heritage matters associated with the proposed Gold Coast Rapid Transport (GCRT) Project, in conjunction with GHD and on behalf of Translink.

The Gold Coast Rapid Transport Project is an initiative of the Queensland State Government, undertaken to address the increasing demands on transport within the Gold Coast area and provide alternatives to the dominance of vehicular based transport. The Gold Coast Rapid Transport Project in total is divided into five sections beginning at Helensvale and terminating at Coolangatta. The study area for this stage of the project covers Section 1, 2 and 3 of the corridor, which includes Helensvale, Coombabah, Biggera Waters, Arundel, Gaven, Parkwood, Labrador, Southport, Molendinar, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Broadbeach Waters.

Through early involvement with the project, providing cultural heritage advice from the initial draft concept design stage, the project team demonstrated an integrated best practice approach that ensured the early identification and long-term conservation of the cultural heritage values of the study area, many of which had been previously unidentified on local, state and national registers.

Services Provided:

  • Heritage study;
  • Historical, archaeological and physical context of study corridor;
  • Identification of historic sites and places;
  • Assessment of levels of significance for these sites and places;
  • Assess the direct and indirect impact on any sites and places of known heritage significance;
  • Assess the impact on the visual amenity of any sites and places or precinct of known heritage significance;
  • Establish potential for impact on heritage sites and places from construction through vibration, ground movement and settlement, and changes to water tables;
  • Assess the impact on heritage and character precincts in the study area; and
  • Assess the impact on archaeological resources.

Objectives:

goldcoast_corridor_heritage_study_broadbeach_shopsIn the context of the proposed Gold Coast Rapid Transport Project, the aim of the CDIMP was to identify all potential direct and indirect impacts, in order to anticipate any adverse or positive effects on significant cultural heritage values. Impacts were determined in direct relation to the proposed development and long term repercussion of the introduction of a rapid transport system and associated infrastructure. Most importantly, the timeframes for preliminary identification of sites and places required an extremely tight turnaround of six weeks. To achieve this, the following scope of study was followed:

  • Research into the historical, archaeological and physical context of the study corridor;
  • Consultation with a range of key stakeholders, including landowners and government agencies;
  • Consideration of what historical heritage sites places (and precincts) exist, (known and previously unknown);
  • Understanding of levels of significance associated with each of these sites and places;
  • Assess the direct and indirect impact on any sites and places of known heritage significance;
  • Assess the impact on the visual amenity of any sites and places or precinct of known heritage significance;
  • Establish potential for impact on heritage sites and places from construction through vibration, ground movement and settlement, and changes to water tables;
  • Assess the impact on heritage and character precincts in the study area; and
  • Assess the impact on archaeological resources.

This CDIMP report considered the impact of the proposed GCRT Project and the cumulative effects on those sites and places defined in the existing environment. Recommendations were made on mitigating any negative impacts and enhancing any positive outcomes on historic heritage sites, places and precincts. Outside of this report were discussions of consultation with Aboriginal parties, and the development of the Cultural Heritage Management Plan pursuant to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.

Methodology:

Following the identification and assessment of cultural heritage values within the study area, the nature of all potential impacts were identified in order to anticipate any adverse or positive effects on these significant sites and places. Impacts were determined in direct relation to the proposed development and the immediate and long term repercussion of the introduction of a rapid transport system and associated infrastructure.

The assessment of potential impacts was undertaken for sites proximal to the current concept design corridor and as a general rule within fifty metres either side of the centre line. This impact corridor allowed for the assessment of direct and indirect impacts on sites on and adjacent to the transport corridor. In addition, several precincts and character areas were identified and assessed for wider reaching impacts associated with the corridor.

Converge's assessment and analysis of impact on cultural heritage values provided a holistic approach towards risk management, involving interaction between analysis and decision-making through a combined process of assessing (estimating) risk and establishing procedures for management of this risk, providing relevant background information from the abovementioned work to guide analysis and decision-making. Procedures for managing risk to cultural heritage values (conservation management strategies) were guided by best practice initiatives, particularly the Burra Charter.

Major infrastructure initiatives such as the GCRT are an important factor in managing the growth of urban centres throughout the state of Queensland. However, it is vital that in the context of the conceptual design of such projects that the early identification of sites and places of cultural heritage significance be completed in a timely manner and in accordance with a best practice approach, in order to determine the presence, significance and management of heritage sites, places and precincts, facilitating long-term conservation outcomes for Queensland's cultural heritage.

Outcome:

goldcoast_corridor_heritage_study_townhallConverge's integrated approach to the investigation of cultural heritage values, combined with consistent dialogue with key stakeholders, highlighted a comprehensive range of cultural heritage values existing within the study area, and enabled early avoidance of significant items during the concept design phase. This tailored approach benefited both the project and the cultural heritage values, preventing costly redesign and facilitating long-term conservation of significant cultural heritage values.

Additionally, Converge's identification and confirmation of known and unknown sites also provided an accurate record of the current extent of cultural heritage sites within the study area, identifying previously unknown sites and discovering that several registered sites of local and even state significance had been relocated or demolished since their listing on these registers. This accurate reflection of the nature of cultural heritage values within the study area allowed for a more focused impact assessment on the sites of significance and ways to ensure their appropriate management from a cultural heritage perspective.

Most importantly, in locations such as the Gold Coast, where constant change brought about by development is a part of the character of the area, cultural heritage values are often overlooked and lost in the metamorphosis of the region. Whilst it is not the aim of cultural heritage management best practice to prevent development in these climates, it is important that cultural heritage values that exist are recognised, their level of significance determined against objective criteria and subsequently managed appropriately.

In the context of the GCRT, Converge undertook a thorough investigation and assessment of the study area, considering not only previously identified sites of national, state and local significance, but also identifying new sites, archaeological potential, precincts and character areas and the potential short and long term, proximal and direct, impacts that rapid transport infrastructure poses for these cultural heritage values now and into the future.

This work provides the highest level of identification and protection possible for sites and places of local and state significance for the area and reaches far beyond the scope of the project's terms of reference. Many new sites have been identified and protected as a result of this work, providing long term benefits for the cultural heritage values contained within the Gold Coast Region and Queensland. Future initiatives for State Development Infrastructure Projects are encouraged to consider this methodology for the management of historic cultural heritage values with a Concept Design Impact Assessment.

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Products

  • Heritage Strategy
  • Heritage Assessment
  • Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Conservation Management
  • Heritage Planning and Design
  • Compliance / Approvals
  • Indigenous Consultation
  • Native Title
  • Aboriginal Heritage
  • Heritage Interpretation
  • Community Consultation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Facilitation

Our Clients

  • Heritage Architects
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Local Government and Council
  • State and Federal Goverment
  • Resources and Mining
  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Tourism
  • Traditional Owner Groups

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07 3211 9522


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