LNP urged to prioritise Gold Coast projects
The Gold Coast's peak business lobby group has congratulated the LNP on its re-election and is now calling on the new government to put its money where its mouth is.
Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce President Martin Hall said the Scott Morrison-led LNP owed much of its election success to Queensland voters.
"Queensland, and the Gold Coast in particular, have shown their support for Mr Morrison's policies and it is now time to start delivering on those promises,'' said Mr Hall.
"We especially want the Federal Government to take the lead in resolving the dispute with the State Government over funding for both the upgrade of the M1 motorway and Stage 3 of the Gold Coast Light Rail.
"Both of these projects are vital for the economic health of the Gold Coast in the short-term future and now is the time for action instead of talking."
Mr Hall said the Chamber was concerned that Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrew, who is the Member for Moncrief, raised the prospect of "re-scoping" the third stage of the Light Rail.
"The whole point of Stage 3 is to connect the business precinct of Burleigh Heads to Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Southport and north to Helensvale and the heavy rail.
"Ms Andrew's suggestion to reduce the length of the proposed extension to the Light Rail by 700m is a step in the wrong direction."
Mr Hall said the Chamber's understanding was that reducing the extension by 700m would not be a simple or quick exercise.
"Moving the terminus 700m back, would potentially impact the location of all the other planned stops, the entire project would need to be re-assessed including distances between stops, the running times of trams, land requirements at any new station locations, the impacts to pedestrian and traffic movements and impacts on underground infrastructure," said Mr Hall.
"By going down this route, Stage 3 will take longer to complete and will deliver a much less desirable result that will not meet the goal of connecting Burleigh Heads to the northern business hubs."
Mr Hall said the Government also needed to more to further promote the Gold Coast as a tourism destination.
"We should be looking at expanding the conference facilities available in the city to encourage more large-scale events to be held in the city and promoting longer stays on the Coast,'' he said.