M1 Pacific Motorway capacity: Eight Mile Plains to Tugun

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M1 Pacific Motorway capacity: Eight Mile Plains to Tugun

Brisbane to Gold Coast motorway capacity
Potential investment options (Stage 2)
South East Queensland
Smaller cities and regional centres
National Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
Queensland Government
Date added to the IPL
14 February 2019
graphic representation of a map (M1 Pacific Highway)


The M1 Pacific Motorway is a vital component of the National Land Transport Network and serves as the primary road corridor connecting Brisbane to the Gold Coast and south to New South Wales.

The South East Queensland section of the M1 Pacific Motorway is the primary north–south arterial road that connects the key population and employment centres of Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast. The M1 also services and connects major transport hubs and industrial precincts, including the Gold Coast and Brisbane International Airports, and the Port of Brisbane.

The M1 Motorway is one of the busiest roads in Australia, carrying in excess of 150,000 vehicles per day, including over 12,000 heavy vehicles. The section of the motorway between Eight Mile Plains and Tugun cannot accommodate current traffic volumes and, as a result, experiences frequent and prolonged periods of congestion and nationally significant impacts on productivity.

This is exacerbated as vehicles travel in and out of Brisbane from the rapidly growing Gold Coast, northern New South Wales, and the growth areas of Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau. It is also worsened by the lack of an alternative route when there are incidents on the motorway. By 2036, congestion impacts are expected to worsen and result in over 89,767 vehicle hours of delay each day. 

Over the medium- to long-term, population growth is expected to remain strong in the Gold Coast area, while employment growth is expected to be strongest in Brisbane. Given this projection, the Eight Mile Plains to Tugun section of the M1 corridor will remain critical in connecting residential areas in the south to job prospects in Brisbane.

Potential options

This program proposal focuses on resolving capacity, efficiency and safety issues on the following four sections of the motorway between Eight Mile Plains and Tugun:

  • between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill
  • between Daisy Hill and Loganholme
  • between Loganholme and Nerang
  • between Varsity Lakes and Tugun.

Business cases for the sections between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill, and between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, have been assessed by Infrastructure Australia and were separately listed as Priority Projects on the Infrastructure Priority List. There are now in delivery and included in Appendix A.

In June 2020, Infrastructure Australia assessed and approved a Stage 2 submission from the Queensland Government for the section between Loganholme and Nerang, as part of the Coomera Connector Project. 

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework), and complete business case development (Stage 3 
of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).

Individual sections are at various stages of development.