A Message from State Member for Mermaid, Ray Stevens - September 2018
Spring has sprung and by the looks of it we shall be in for a long hot one! We have lots of spring offerings such as the 'Swell' festival kicking off on Friday 14 September at Currumbin or perhaps you may enjoy the Gold Coast District Orchid Spring Show, 14-15 September at Albert Waterways Community Centre. School holidays are almost upon us, be safe on our roads and in the ocean and enjoy the delightful spring weather.
The Gold Coast has embraced a 'Chinese Boom' post the Commonwealth Games as a destination of choice for both independent tourists as well as delegate participants in organised events. Local tourism organisations have been proactive in securing overseas incentive programs from China such as Infinitus China; who brought 7000 of its best performers as part of this program. There is significant major growth potential in the overseas business events and conferences sector which would provide an important boost for local Gold Coast businesses.
However, to ensure that visitation numbers only increase for interstate and overseas visitors the Gold Coast needs to provide a diversity of attractions. We need to be competitive on the international stage in our tourism offerings and diversity is the key to maintain momentum as we need new drawcards to entice past visitors to return and to stay longer.
Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A
Community consultation is currently underway for the extension of the Light Rail from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads. In a recent briefing from Departmental officers, I learned that there are anticipated difficulties in achieving the next stage through Palm Beach, and that no planning has been done for the extension of the Light Rail to the airport.
This lack of foresight is highly concerning, and with Stage 3A proposed to extend along the Gold Coast Highway from Pacific Fair to Burleigh, it is of utmost importance that we are informed what the benefit will be for residents and businesses in this area. Of particular concern is the effect of inevitable major disruptions on businesses along the coastal strip we saw businesses suffer greatly in the case of Southport and Surfers Paradise, with some forced to close or leave the area.
Residents should be mindful of potential extension of high-rise limits to underpin the usage of the Light Rail, as we have seen already in the case of southern Broadbeach. A massive increase in high-rise density through Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach and North Burleigh is highly concerning considering the traffic congestion already endured by Gold Coast residents.
Although the prospect of a Light Rail extension may seem like a positive step for the Gold Coast to some, I firmly believe that we deserve to be completely informed about definitive outcomes, specifically in regards to passenger numbers, traffic reduction and job generation.
I rose in Parliament this week to convey these concerns and to suggest that the only fair way to reach a definitive view on whether 3A should proceed is through a referendum to all residents in affected areas. Given that this project which will bring significant change to suburbs from Broadbeach to Burleigh, Gold Coasters need to have their voices heard.
Should you have any State issues you would like to discuss please feel free to contact my office on Tel: 5600 0100 / Email: Mermaid.Beach@parliament.qld and also you can visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/RayStevensMP
Ray Stevens MP
State Member for Mermaid Beach