Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has slammed a local federal MP over the opposition to the extension of the light rail after it was revealed she has an investment property along the proposed route.
Member for McPherson Karen Andrews has been under intense scrutiny over the last week after she spoke out against Stage 4 of the light rail going down the Gold Coast Highway through Palm Beach.
Ms Andrews has since sought to clarify she does support the light rail extending to Gold Coast Airport but has still refused to confirm which route she would prefer.
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On Tuesday, The Guardian revealed that Ms Andrews and her husband, Chris, own a unit in a complex on the Gold Coast Highway.
Ms Andrews has publicly listed ownership of an investment unit at Palm Beach but not the exact address.
There is no suggestion Andrews has breached any disclosure rules.
However, Mayor Tate said the revelation was an “absolute disappointment’’.
“I’m not suggesting she has done anything illegal but the question has to be asked: why did you not mention you own an investment property on the Stage 4 light rail route?” he said.
“I am certain that if I was in that position, ratepayers would be asking for my resignation.’
Cr Tate said this project was vital for the entire city.
“This is not a project just for Palm Beach. It is a city-changing project for this generation, and the next,” he said.
“I’ll leave it to the Federal MP to explain her reasoning for not mentioning her investment property when she publicly came out last week and attacked the coastal route which happens to run straight past her investment property.
“Indications are that if the current stage 4 coastal route was to divert away from the coast, a minimum of 150 properties would need to be resumed. I would hate to see that many home-owners lose their ‘castles’ just because the local Federal MP wants to interfere.’’
Ms Andrews has hit back at the Mayor’s comments, labelling it nothing more than a ‘distraction’.
“Anyone who thinks that I am motivated by anything other than doing the right thing for my constituents, quite frankly, just doesn’t know me,”
“The issue at Palm Beach has always been that the state government has failed to listen to the communities needs.
“This is just a distraction, I’m not going to be distracted
“I’ve always had an incredibly strong view that I will be the voice for those people who do not have a voice.”