Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tony Abbott ruins the Commonwealth Games

Australia's backwards prime minister 
Tony Abbott has just continued to make Australia look like the world's most backwards developed country by refusing to fund stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail. This phase 2 extension of the Gold Coast's G:link light rail system was to run from the current terminus of Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale. If it could have been funded, it would have opened just in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and would made Southport and Surfers Paradise much more accessible by public transport from Brisbane and Logan. There would have been ongoing benefits of improved access between Brisbane, Logan, and the Gold Coast for locals and tourists after the games.

Unfortunately, due to Tony Abbott's "stuck in the 1960s" hatred of public transport (or in fact hatred of anything that could be seen as being environmentally friendly), funding has been refused for this essential project. So unless the cash strapped Queensland state government can urgently find $200m of funding, both Australia and the Gold Coast are going to look very very silly on the world stage in 2018.

Tony Abbott's bizarre hatred of public transport goes against the policy of every other developed country. Given, the popularity of the Gold Coast Light Rail amongst voters, this move could also cost Tony Abbott some seats, increasing his already high chance of loosing the next federal election.

Update 16/09/15

Australia has thankfully lost it's backwards, homophobic, misogynistic, immigrant hating immigrant prime minister. It is likely that the Gold Coast Light Rail decision could have affected the voting of Gold Coast LNP MPs when it came to ousting Tony Abbott. The new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is known to be a public transport user. Can phase 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail be rescued by Australia's new leader before it is too late? Or will Australia be laughing stock of the Commonwealth.

Update 11/10/15

Yay - Gold Coast Light Rail stage 2 is now funded, thanks to Australia now having a new prime minister who lives in the 21st century. You won't be missed Tony! 


  1. The only thing dumber than the tram not connecting to the train station is the current planned map showing the stage 2 will go into the middle of nowhere to get to a train station. Harbour town is already a major bus hub and destination in itself, with many massive unit blocks going in. Smith St and the Highway are inaccessible yet that's the planned route. What planet do we live on?

  2. This really does have me furious. From the very beginning they stated this project was going to go via Harbour Town:

    I purchased my property based - in part - on this assumption. The early maps did show two possible connecting routes, but the Smith St/Motorway approach was disregarded in almost every document as the 2nd option went through low density areas and was inaccessable.

    The Harbour town area has 4 high-rises that are nearing completion this year, and another 8 or more planned for the next 2-5 years. We are talking about thousands of new residents this year, and tens of thousands over the next 5 years. So what is the public transport plan for these new residents? Given the road to the Helensvale train station (Brisbane Road a.k.a. Gold Coast Hwy) is already congested to the point it is unusable at peak times there MUST be a public transport alternative. Surely this should be the tram.

    Harbour Town is already a bus network hub, being a stop for three of the 4 main north/south routes. So is the plan to increase the frequency and size of buses (double-deck buses are already in service)? Are northern eastern Gold Coast people meant to take a bus to a train station to catch a tram to get to the rest of the Gold Coast? Remembering that this road is already congested, I doubt this is an option, let alone the time/length of the trip even if congestion wasn't a problem.

    Or are the residents meant to catch a bus to the hospital/university, which has one bus route with limited frequency and is on an even more congested road (Olsen Avenue).

    Given the north east of the Gold Coast (Labarador, Biggera Waters, Runaway Bay, and so on) is a massive high density growth area, this is just mind numbingly short sighted. The areas of parkwood with highest density will be missed and suburbs like Arundle are still left in no-man's land with regards to public transport.

    The tram corridor going past Labarador, and Parkwood to Harbour Town, then past Arundle to Helensvale train station was, and still is, the only logical route. G-link and the government MUST address the transport issue of the north east of the Gold Coast.

  3. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one with this exact opinion about the sheer stupidity of the currently accepted route:

    This links confirms every point I made above with specific numbers of approved dwellings. If this is so patently obvious with substantive figures that there is no defensible position for this development OTHER than it was the cheapest and fastest way to get the tram connected within the time frame of the commonwealth games.


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