Light Rail Stage 4 - Burleigh to Boyd Street, Tugun - Gecko's Concerns and Submission

The public consultation of the concept plans for the light rail stage 4 finished on 17th September.
While there were certainly plenty of opportunities for residents of the southern Gold Coast to view the concept drawings and talk with Transport and Main Roads (TMR) officers, there were few answers to questions.
Gecko’s full submission is available here. Gecko’s concerns are summarized as follows;
  1. Gecko supports efforts to encourage the population of the Gold Coast to use public transport so reducing greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on the city’s roads, while improving the air quality of the city.
  2. Gecko is not convinced that a light rail system is the best way to encourage take up of public transport in view of the exorbitant cost of the light rail and recommends alternatives such as electric articulated buses be considered.  It is also inequitable to spend billions of dollars on the coastal strip while the northern growth areas with poor public transport miss out.
  3. Gecko is seeking a commitment from TMR and Council to build the fauna only overpasses at Burleigh Heads National Park and Currumbin Conservation Reserves in the near future as they are needed NOW to reduce the road toll on wildlife crossing the Gold Coast Highway. We should not wait up to 8 years for the light rail to provide this much needed infrastructure.
  4. Gecko has sought confirmation that no public open space will be lost if the Stage 4 proceeds.
  5. Gecko seeks confirmation that suitable street trees will be planted for the ‘boulevard’ effect of the Gold Coast Highway and that palm trees will not be used as they do not provide shade or reduce the heat island effect. We also raised concerns about loss of trees south of Tugun shopping centre and elsewhere
  6. Gecko has raised concerns about the safe preservation of the Aboriginal fish traps in Tallebudgera Creek during construction.
  7. Gecko raised concern at the impact of “uplift” i.e. increased density of development along the route to help increase patronage and pay for the light rail, as it will be detrimental to the community amenity of the southern Gold Coast.
  8. Gecko raised concerns about the impact of reducing the Highway to two lanes so reducing parking and encouraging ‘rat running’ in parallel streets.