Light rail’s next destination after Airport extension

 

MAYOR Tom Tate says extending the light rail line to the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta is happening.

Light rail Stage 3B is expected to run along the coastal strip from Burleigh Heads to the airport, which will also eventually be serviced by an extension of the heavy rail.

Announcement for Light Rail Stage 3A, from Broadbeach South to Burleigh. Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate holding a GO sign. Picture: Jerad Williams
Announcement for Light Rail Stage 3A, from Broadbeach South to Burleigh. Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate holding a GO sign. Picture: Jerad Williams

Opponents, including Palm Beach councillor Daphne McDonald, say extending the tram along Gold Coast Highway would damage the area's amenity, create a parking shortage and increase tower development.

They have instead advocated the tram going west from Burleigh to Varsity Lakes.

The tram is expected to run through Palm Beach. Picture Glenn Hampson
The tram is expected to run through Palm Beach. Picture Glenn Hampson

But Mayor Tate said both would become a reality.

"You have to do both north-south and east-west," he said.

"Now (opponents) are saying they don't want it but the thing is, we did a community consultation process back before we did council's transport plan and now that it is all laid out.

Political leaders celebrated the approval of Stage 3A last month. Picture: Jerad Williams
Political leaders celebrated the approval of Stage 3A last month. Picture: Jerad Williams

"It's like, mate, where have you been? We are sod-turning (Stage 3A) early next year.

"The next stage will go all the way to the airport and Coolangatta … after that we want to go east-west."

Stage 3A will run from Broadbeach to Burleigh and is expected to be operational in 2023.

Trams are expected to go East-West after Stage 3B. Picture Glenn Hampson
Trams are expected to go East-West after Stage 3B. Picture Glenn Hampson

Cr Tate cited future links to Varsity Lakes, Robina and Nerang via Metricon Stadium.

"People can jump on and go and see the Suns and Titans play without having to walk a bloody kilometre," he said.

A State Government survey found 91 per cent of residents backed light rail running to the airport.


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