As many people will know, I have extensively voiced the very genuine concerns of my community about stage 4 of the Gold Coast Light Rail. Transport infrastructure that may well be very appropriate for the northern and central Gold Coast is not necessarily the right solution for the southern Gold Coast. Yet some of our elected representatives seem determined to push ahead, regardless of the many serious issues that have been raised by the community. One of those is parking.
The Gold Coast Bulletin very recently revealed that 500 car parks will be lost to light rail as part of stage 3 of the southern route from Broadbeach through to Burleigh Heads. This was described by the Bulletin as a bombshell, and it has left many of the people who are involved in this, such as the planners, absolutely scrambling. Residents have very rightly asked how this could be occurring on stage 3, which has already been fully scoped, funded and approved.
Now the lack of available car parking makes a mockery of the claim that this project will ease congestion or provide a viable commuting alternative for locals. Quite frankly, if 500 parking spaces are going to disappear—vanish into thin air—as part of stage 3, how many will disappear if stage 4 goes ahead? What will happen to those residents in Palm Beach who are already struggling to find somewhere to park their cars?