Elections can be a daunting process for voters – especially when it comes to figuring out which candidates best aligns with your views.
Here at MyGC we’ve tried our best to make sure the task of picking the next Mayor of the Gold Coast is a little easier.
We have spoken to each of the mayoral candidates and asked them all the same questions, which were sent in by readers, about the main issues affecting our region so you can compare them side by side.
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First up, we spoke to Andrew Middleton, a local professional writer.
NB: Links to the other candidates can be found at the bottom of the story.
MyGC: If elected Mayor, what would you say is you rnumber one policy? Or number one issue to fix?
Andrew Middleton: My number one policy is a four year ban on high-rise development. Buildings in Surfers, Southport, Isle of Capri, Chevron Island right down to Broadbeach would all have a ban so we can actually work on the infrastructure over the next four years. That is something Tom Tate has ignored.
MyGC: The new City Plan introduced by Council recently focused on a ‘building up, not out’ philosophy, with an unlimited height restriction. How do you feel about that plan?
Andrew Middleton: Well by putting a four-year plan in place, (going out) is the only way you can go isn’t it? If you’re going outwards you’re probably creating a lot more jobs because there is going to be a lot more individual buildings been built and more infrastructure, more roadways, more overpasses and bridges and stuff.
MyGC: There seems to be a lot of questions about jobs on the Gold Coast. What’s your plan to make sure that jobs continue to grow here on the Coast as the population continues increases?
Andrew Middleton: I can’t understand why there has never been a bus that goes from Nerang, down past Carrara Stadium, up Ross Street and straight in to Benowa down Ashmore Road and straight across into Surfers. If you create busways like that you create jobs through extra bus drivers and maintenance workers and stuff like that.
When it comes to building, if we expand outwards it will also give more people more opportunity and more work. Unfortunately, the figures that Tom Tate has put out [are] absolutely farcical. It’s not 5.6% of unemployment here on the Coast for a start. If you look in construction sites, about 60-70% are Kiwi workers so you can’t get an unemployment figure out of that. Tom Tate’s just using numbers to play his own game.
MyGC: The truck crash on the M1 earlier this year brought chaos and major disruption to our city streets. What is your plan for improving traffic on the Gold Coast so we can avoid major issues like this in the future?
Andrew Middleton: Well with accidents on bridges it’s very hard to divert and the people that are unfortunately already past the last exit they’re virtually stuck there because you can’t do anything on a bridge. But if you’re travelling up the M1 and you were heading to Brisbane and there’s a crash there well there’s an easy diversion that Main Roads could actually put in, which would be an interchange channel. That’s where you can have gaps in the medium strip where you can open it up and use the lanes so the traffic keeps on travelling as long as you’ve got the emergency diversion blokes present at the time. That needs to be addressed through both state and local council.
MyGC: The Light Rail is obviously a pretty contentious issue for some people – What would you like to see happen with the Light Rail in the future?
Andrew Middleton: Well originally, and I do still think it, I believed it was actually a mistake. When they put in in, all it did was [cause] road blockages through Southport and across the bridge coming into Surfers. Surfers Paradise is an absolute nightmare and it’s going to take a hell of a lot of work to try and divert the traffic. It would have been a better answer to put small buses like the buses they have up in the north coast with express routes and express busways. That would have made it more efficient and quicker to get to your destination.
MyGC: What is your preference for transport to Gold Coast Airport?
A – Buses, B- Light Rail, C- Heavy Rail
Andrew Middleton: Well to be quite honest the Light Rail is a fair way away. The heavy rail is the more logical thing. It’s a lot faster and you can get a lot more passengers commuting on the rail. If it goes all the way down to Tugun it will also give a lot of people opportunities from the southern suburbs of the Gold Coast to actually travel to Brisbane and it will relieve traffic off the M1.
MyGC: In your opinion, what aspect of the Council is most in need of change and reform, and how will you address this?
Andrew Middleton: Well, have you got an hour? [Laughs]
MyGC: Well let’s try and pick the main issue [Laughs]
Middleton: Well there is one issues, it’s called Tom Tate. He threatens his divisional Councillor. He’s not a people man, it’s all ‘me, me, me’. You always have to listen to him on TV. To be honest, he’s spent all this time and effort on a cruise ship terminal and it changes spot every 5 minutes. It doesn’t work, it won’t work. It’s not a port and he’s wasting all his time on that when he should be looking at all the other issues that all my other opponents all agree on that we need infrastructure, we need it now and we need it fast.
To find out what the other candidates have to say – click on their names below: