The latest data on road congestion on the Gold Coast has sparked a barrage of responses, all calling on more action from the Federal Government.
According to Infrastructure Australia’s ‘Urban Transport Crowding and Congestion’ report, revealed by Newscorp, road congestion costs are predicted to quadruple in the next decade.
Another 200,000 people are expected to call the Gold Coast home in the next 15 years, and it seems the infrastructure won’t be able to deliver quick enough.
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With the light rail extension to Burleigh still stalled in a funding stoush, and the second M1 still in planning mode, the road congestion costs could skyrocket from $243 million to $973 million in 2031.
Mayor Tom Tate says the Gold Coast Council has a plan in place for the future, with $540 million set aside for infrastructure over the next four years, to bust congestion.
Though when it comes to the big ticket items (the M1), Mayor Tate is concerned both the state and federal governments aren’t coming to the table.
“I know the bureaucrats – especially in Canberra – are going ‘we need a $20 million assessment report’, I’m saying ‘forget about the report, jump in the car and drive on the M1, there’s your answer, you can’t move’, we want it fixed,” Mayor Tate said.
State Transport Minister Mark Bailey agrees with the Mayor, that more needs to be done, but says the Palaszczuk Government is doing enough of the ‘heavy lifting’ on Gold Coast’s infrastructure.
“Let’s be clear, the congestion has certainly be caused by the cuts by the LNP under Campbell Newman.
“They ignored the M1, they blocked the second M1 when they were in power.
“The Palaszczuk Labour Government has four M1 upgrades, worth $2.3 billion fully funded, two underway, two to follow straight after at the gateway merge and on the Gold Coast…and we’re doing the necessary planning to get the second M1 into shape.
“When it comes to investing and doing the work necessary, the current Palaszczuk is doing that after a lost three years under the LNP.
“I think the Palaszczuk Labour Government has shown over the last four years that we’re investing in the M1, we’re investing in the light rail, we’re investing in the heavy rail.
“Because the Cross River Rail means faster more frequent train services for Gold Coast residents, and three more stations at Helensvale North, Pimpama and Worongary/Merrimac,” Minister Bailey told myGC.
Though Minister Bailey says that Canberra needs to understand that the Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in the country and it should be getting the infrastructure that it needs.
“The Palaszczuk Government is doing the heavy lifting on infrastructure for the Gold Coast, we want fair funding to start flowing from Canberra, that will mean we can get so much more done.
“But we are investing in roads, light rail, heavy rail, in interchanges, we’re doing the work that needs to be done.
“But we’ll get a lot more done, if we’ve got a genuine partner and fair funding from Canberra,” Minister Bailey told myGC.