City of Gold Coast’s Corporate Communications Manager Warwick Sinclair has defended the proposed sale of the Surfers Paradise Transit Centre and Bruce Bishop car park ahead of Wednesday’s council vote.
Mr Sinclair says the sale will provide much needed funds for a new bridge to the Isle of Capri and the city’s new Cultural Centre at Evandale, and will also help reduce the city’s congestion woes.
“This city will be clogged beyond repair if we don’t get people out of cars,” Mr Sinclair told myGC.
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“We are trying to get people to not think ‘car’ every time they want to move about the city.
“What’s the point in investing $3 billion in light rail only to keep half empty car parks open – with ratepayers paying around $10 million to fix them?”
Mr Sinclair said Gold Coasters need to take a similar approach to their big city counterparts and change the way they think about travel.
“For example, 90% of people who visit Melbourne or Sydney CBD don’t even think of taking a car,” he said.
“Yet here, we EXPECT to be able to drive right to the beach and park AT the beach.
“It’s a mindset that has to change and keeping a carpark with 1000 vacant spots a day won’t help.”
The proposed sale of the carpark, which was gifted to the city in 1938 in a deed arrangement which stipulated it be preserved as a recreational reserve, has sparked plenty of controversy prompting Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek to launch the ‘Save Our Carpark’ petition.
Mr Langbroek says the proposal will hamper the accessibility of Surfers Paradise, hurt local businesses, and hinder our tourism industry.
“While our City is moving at full speed ahead, the sale of this carpark will well and truly put the brakes on in Surfers Paradise – both in terms of traffic flow and economic growth,” he said.
“I fervently campaigned against the sale of the Bruce Bishop Carpark in 2004, and if anything, the case to keep this asset has gotten stronger over the years as our City has grown”.
The Surfers MP says parking is already a major issue in Surfers Paradise, and with the upcoming Commonwealth Games and widening of the Isle of Capri Bridge, it’s only going to get worse.
“Not everyone catches public transport or the Light Rail,” Mr Langbroek said.
“I’m calling on Gold Coast locals, small business owners and staff, and visitors to get behind the Surfers Community by signing my petition to save the Bruce Bishop Carpark, which has the support of the Surfers Paradise RSL.
“Locals deserve to have a say on the future of this important asset.”
Angry residents including Former Gold Coast City Councillor Eddy Sarroff are planning a protest outside council chambers on Wednesday as full council votes on the proposal to sell the Transit Centre.
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