Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey
Community Feedback Firmly Behind Light Rail Extension To Burleigh Heads
Victor P Taffa
More than 75 % of Gold Coast residents support Light Rail Stage 3A, according to an independent survey conducted as part of recent community consultation.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said community members and business owners were encouraged to attend drop-ins or provide feedback via an online survey last month (August) and more than 3,000 locals did so.
“Independent market research specialists also conducted four group discussions and a telephone survey with 500 people, and their report showed more than three quarters of residents and businesses polled supported future light rail extensions.” Minister Bailey said.
“Of the Gold Coast residents interviewed as part of that independent survey, 86 % support Stage 3A and 72 % of Stage 3A corridor residents and 80 % of corridor businesses support future light rail extensions.”
“If there was ever proof needed of how out of touch those LNP Gold Coast MP’s who don’t support Light Rail Stage 3A are, like Michael Hart and Ray Stevens, this is it.” Minister Bailey said.
“There is no doubt that Light Rail Stage 2 is one of the greatest Labor public transport legacies here in Queensland, with the 7.3 km G: Link delivered in record time and under budget, and catering for more than 1 Million trips during the Commonwealth Games.”
“Since Stage 2 opened, light rail patronage has increased by 33 %, and I’m confident Stage 3A, once built, will mirror that success.”
“Community feedback is being documented by the Stage 3A project team, and will inform the Stage 3A Detailed Business Case.” Minister Bailey said.
“Reference design maps used at the drop-in sessions provided new information and 3D animated visuals gave people an accurate and realistic view of where the light rail is proposed along the Gold Coast Highway and how it might look.”
“About 750 people had one-on-one discussions on topics of interest as team members were able to explain the design development process, answer general questions and encourage participants to supply feedback.”
Minister Bailey said the online survey was visited by more than 2,000 people, and many residents provided positive feedback.
“At the drop-in sessions, 169 written responses were submitted, and feedback generally focused on localised issues and how the project may impact communities along the 6.7-km alignment.” Minister Bailey said.
Stage 3A is the proposed extension of the Gold Coast’s light rail system from Broadbeach South light rail station to Burleigh Heads. Trams will run in the centre of the Gold Coast Highway with planning for up to 8 stations and a journey time of 16-17 minutes.
Detailed Business Case that is being prepared in partnership with the City of Gold Coast will be completed by the end of 2018.
Stage 3A consultation is in addition to 2 earlier rounds of community consultation completed by the City of Gold Coast in 2015 and 2017.
Project will require funding from the Federal, State and Local Governments. The next phase would be procurement of a construction contractor with the possibility of Stage 3A being operational by 2023.
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