Tram critics slammed: ‘Bring your tomatoes’
TOM Tate has told Palm Beach's anti-light rail "whingers" to bring their tomatoes during community consultation to decide where the controversial Stage 4 will run - "so I can catch them and throw them back at you".
The Gold Coast Mayor has urged robust debate between "keyboard warrior" critics and the entire city as it maps out a preferred route for the final stage of the trams from Burleigh Heads to Gold Coast Airport.
"With the next stage of consultation important, it is important we take the whole of the city on the journey, not just a vocal few in Palm Beach," Councillor Tate said.
"I believe the majority in Palm Beach will want to have the greater accessibility to the light rail.
"That's why I will be front and centre in the community consultation.
"Bring out your tomatoes to throw at me so I can catch them and throw them back at you."
Cr Tate added fuel to his war with a group of anti-light rail Palm Beach residents at the weekend when he proposed the tram should sidestep the coastal town.
His radical plan included the light rail turning right on to Nineteenth Avenue and proceeding down the heavy rail corridor parallel with the M1.
The State Government wants the light rail to follow the coast through Palm Beach, Currumbin and Tugun.
Burleigh MP Michael Hart has long supported an alternative route to travel via West Burleigh to Varsity Lakes before proceeding south.
Among the most staunch critics of all proposals tabled so far is area councillor Daphne McDonald.
She has urged the council and State Government to look at other "more modern" forms of public transport technology.
"The community is well aware of the routes which are proposed for the light rail and I understand the State Government have already done planning for the M1 corridor and they say that will be the heavy rail route," she said.
"Wherever the tram goes there is sure to be certain impacts, from the dense development we are already seeing to the noise factor.
"There will be a loss of car parking and I do not know how the Gold Coast Highway will cope.
"I believe it is time to look at more modern technology and examples from around the world."
One major concern surrounding the coastal route is that the Gold Coast Highway will revert to two lanes through the heart of Palm Beach.
Cr Tate wants to secure a business case study and community consultation on where the track will go before the October state election.
A two-year study released in March by international consulting firm Jacobs Engineering found the controversial coastal route from Burleigh through Palm Beach was the preferred option.
Stage 3 from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads is under construction. It is expected to be running by early 2023.
In June, the council committed $1.7 million towards the planning of Stage 4. It wants to split the cost of the business case and community consultation with the State Government.
Cr Tate says he wants to fast-track construction of the final stage once a route is chosen.
Originally published as Tram critics slammed: 'Bring your tomatoes'