Gold Coast councillors have rejected the Mayor’s plan to set up a congestion-busting task force.
Tom Tate addressed Council on Tuesday afternoon proposing a “new set of eyes” to look at roads, bridges and other transport projects.
The panel would have looked at what projects could be kick started as soon as possible with Griffith University engineering Professor John Howe among those named as a task force member.
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But the Mayor’s plan came in for heated criticism at Tuesday’s full Council meeting, with several Councillors arguing the task force would be doing the work that the Transport Committee already does.
Deputy Mayor Donna Gates says the idea was a slap in the face to Council officers and gave Gold Coasters false hope.
“I feel like this is a little bit insulting to our Director and all of the officers that work so hard in that branch,” Councillor Gates said.
“My biggest fear of all is that in calling this a congestion-busting task force we create this expectation that we’re going bust congestion and clearly we’re not. We cannot bust congestion until the State and Federal Government fix the M1 or build a second north-south corridor.”
Councillor Dawn Crichlow described the proposal as “absolute nonsense”.
“We’ve got an infrastructure committee formed here with 11 councillors on it its the biggest committee of the whole lot,” Councillor Crichlow said.
“There’s no reason why this kind of thing can’t go on.”
After more than two hours of debate the Mayor’s plan was easily defeated.
Mayor Tate says he accepts Council’s vote but will still focus on how to fix congestion on the Gold Coast.
“I was simply wanting a set of fresh eyes to look at what we are already doing but that idea was rejected. I respect that … it’s democracy,” he said.
“The vote means we will continue to look at issues to do with traffic through our relevant committees and Special Budget. I still believe it would have been of benefit to have a set of fresh eyes but that’s not how the vote went.”