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A prominent Gold Coast businessman has called for light rail extensions to stop

A prominent Gold Coast businessman has called for light rail extensions to stop

THE Gold Coast should go back to the buses and all plans for the expansion of the light rail should be scrapped, says a leading Gold Coast businessman.

Retired property demographer and development consultant Alan Midwood said the light rail system was a “disaster” and development of the system was based on a miscalculation.

Mr Midwood, whose Midwood Report was considered the bible for measurement of property development in the city, said system was developed on an error in first place.

“In the 2008 feasibility study there was an error in the calculation of the population growth of the Gold Coast for the previous 20 years,” he said.

“It said the population had grown by 218 per cent rather than 118 per cent.

“I believe that was why they decided buses could not continue under that growth pressure.

“The scandal is that was initially based on a fallacy and then it got bigger and bigger. The money should go back into buses and even then into smaller buses.

A prominent Gold Coast businessman has called for light rail extensions to stop

“There is not the density of population to support it and never will be.

“We could have put another 1000 buses on the road for the cost of the light rail.”

Mr Midwood said the light rail had been a ‘gross financial disaster’.

“Translink’s end-of-year newsletter boasts it carried ‘over 6 million passengers in its first year’,” he said.

“An impressive figure to some, but anyone with a calculator can divide that by 365 days to see it only carried 16,438 passengers a day.

“The buses were doing 17,000 without spending over $2 billion, losing 1000 roadside car parks in the inner city and turning Southport’s centre into a virtual ghost town.

“To say nothing of sending countless small businesses bankrupt and stealing half the scarce road space between Parkwood and Broadbeach.

“It was supposed to reduce congestion, not double it.”

Mr Midwood said the cost of the project had grown from an initial estimation of $320 million to be well over $2 billion.

“Initially that $320 million was to cover the full 17km from the heavy rail to Broadbeach — not just the 13km part that cut out the heavy rail link “to save money”.

“The same reason was given for deleting the 1000 car spaces in two large Park & Ride stations at Parkwood and Loders Creek.

“Heaven forbid that anyone should seriously consider extending it into the less densely populated southern reaches of the city.

“But our city planners are already asking our opinion on alternative routes. Have they nothing better to do?

“They can be assured the taxpayers of Queensland will not be offering to pay for such profligacy this time around, as they are already burdened by losses that must exceed $100 million annually, when taking into account interest and operating losses due to disappointing usage.

“Someone please tell them that Gold Coast cannot afford another disaster like this.”

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said council’s Transport Strategy 2031 proposed a multifaceted approach to the city’s future transport needs.

A prominent Gold Coast businessman has called for light rail extensions to stop

“As Mayor, I support the light rail continuing on south from Broadbeach, to the airport, in stages,” he said.

“This will occur as state, federal and local funding becomes available. I am also a strong advocate of an improved bus network that feeds off the light rail ‘spine’.

“These bus networks will run east and west. Again, this will require strong commitment from the state and our council.’’

Meanwhile, business and community leaders are being quietly sounded out to form a committee to lobby for the ­extension of the light rail south.

Steve Harrison, who was chairman of the Gold Coast Light Rail Business Advisory Group, said he was approaching business and community leaders in an effort to reform the group with a focus on a future stage.

A prominent Gold Coast businessman has called for light rail extensions to stop

“The business advisory group played a key role in helping get the funding for stage one of the light rail and helped get the full level of government support for stage two,” Mr Harrison said.

“The intent is to recommence regular meetings with GoldlinQ and the contractor hired to build stage two.

“We want to get the maximum value possible for stage two.”

He said the composition of the group was no longer current because construction work was no longer ­happening in Surfers Paradise.

“It’s more important to get business stakeholders from the new section of the project than from Surfers,” he said. “It’s also important to have stakeholders from locations that are future possible extensions.”

Mr Harrison said the important part of the decision-making process was to get consensus on where future extensions would be.

“The exciting part is not about if it should be built but that we are seeing parts of the city fighting to get the light rail to come there, whether it’s Robina, Nobbys or Burleigh,” he said.

“And certainly the airport would be an important link and would have a massive impact on the Gold Coast.”

He said he hoped the business ­advisory group would be reformed in the next four to six weeks.

“We want to have the right people involved to have a serious discussion on the future,” he said. “It’s important the airport is a contingent stakeholder, educational institutions play a role so we have Griffith University and it would be nice to have Bond and Southern Cross University.

“It’s important to stay close to the chambers of commerce to ensure the needs of business are included.”

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Gold Coast

Why Hope Island is attracting every kind of buyer

The best representation and offering of Hope Island living is the standout Hope Island Resort gated community, of which the Peninsula Collection represent the last apartments on offer

Hope Island, despite not being named after hope but instead colonial aristocrat Captain Louis Hope, remains one of Queensland’s premier living and holiday destinations.

Hope Island is attracting every kind of buyer, from young families who are attracting to the local schools, to downsizers and retirees who want to live the lifestyle that Hope Island offers.

Investors, as well as first home buyers, have been interested given the price point of the apartments on the island in comparison to the houses, which have fetched upwards of $10 million in recent years.

Infrastructure is already well in place on the Island, with marina shopping and dining precincts, medical facilities, and three 18-hole golf courses.  The Links Golf Club in particular is recognised internationally for its 18-hole championship design and multi-million dollar clubhouse.

Some other activities on offer include the nearby tennis centre, theme parks and diving attractions.

Hope Island also plays host to a bustling nightlife with some highlights being Georges Paragon, Boardwalk Tavern and The Verandah Bar.

New property on Hope Island however is becoming increasingly scarce, with only a limited amount of land left to be developed.

There’s been huge demand due to the lack of supply for Peninsula Collection, the last stage of the The Peninsula Hope Island, a development by the ASF Group.

Peninsula Collection

Peninsula Collection 52 Harbourview Drive, Hope Island QLD 4212 

They’ve seen everything snapped up, from the blocks of waterfront land on offer, to a variety of townhouses.

Peninsula Collection is the last piece for ASF, comprising just 63 apartments designed by Archidiom.

The three-bedroom apartments, which have nearly 120 sqm of living space, start from just $565,000. The three-bedroom apartments rise to $780,000 for the 133 sqm apartments, which also include a study room.

The biggest apartments on offer, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, have nearly 180 sqm of living area and start from $1.28 million.

A limited number of the 5-bedroom apartments include a dual-key access option and many of the three-bedders come with a study integrated into the floorplan.

Completion is forecast for 2023, with construction set to begin in a few months.

Residents will also have access to The Peninsula BBQ area and waterside gazebo beyond the Hope Island Resort offerings like a fitness centre and swimming pool.


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Why investors snap up apartments in Aria Property Group’s Brisbane apartment developments

Aria Property Group have pushed the envelope not only on sustainability but value at their newest tower, Trellis in South Brisbane

Aria Property Group always have a steady stream of interest from off the plan investors in their Brisbane apartment developments.

Investors who bought in to one of Aria’s most recently completed developments, The Standard, Aria, located in the heart of the Fish Lane arts precinct, saw great success.

Those who bought pre-completion have secured resales between 10 per cent and 38 per cent more than what they paid. Owner-occupiers showed the greatest keenness on the resales.

The investors who decided to hold on to their apartments are seeing strong 5.48 per cent rental yields throughout the building.

Aria’s latest development, Trellis, also in South Brisbane, is also expected to be a hit with investors.

The 12-story building with 110 apartments is Aria’s most sustainable yet, with 60 percent of the building covered in greenery of some variety. It will feature trellises within which improve biodiversity, as well as solar technology and even Tesla batteries and charging stations.

Aria Property Group

Trellis 20 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101 

There’s over 1,000 sqm of recreational amenity space, including the Temple of Wellness on the ground floor and the Residents’ Rooftop Club on level 13. That features magnesium baths and an infinity pool with views across Brisbane. Amenity is also high on the priority list for tenants.

Apartments in Trellis start from $739,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. Three-bedroom apartments are priced from $1,084,000 to $1,224,000.

Completion is forecast for mid-2023.

The Brisbane apartment market has continued to show strength over 2021, after a resilient 2020 in the wake of the pandemic.

Research from property data firm CoreLogic showed Brisbane apartment values rose 0.6 per cent over September, triple the growth of apartments in Melbourne.

At the end of 2020, the median apartment value in Brisbane was at a yearly high of $390,000. Now it’s $430,000.

Unit rental prices have also seen steady growth in 2021, up 3.5 per cent over the past 12 months.

This growth trend is expected to continue, backed in large part by billions of dollars in investment from both private and public sectors as part of the pipeline for the 2032 Olympics.


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Why the rise of the Sunshine Coast’s prestige market is only just beginning

Sunshine Coast

Once a humble home for barefoot surfers and retirees seeking sand in their golden years, the Sunshine Coast is now one of Australia’s most prized playgrounds for prestige buyers, with property prices swelling by up to 46 per cent in 12 months across its most sought-after postcodes.

Fuelled by exclusivity, driven by development restrictions along the coastline and augmented by the remote working wave – the relaxed region just a couple of hours north of Brisbane is also becoming a mecca for cashed-up tech wizards with nine key suburbs now members of the million-dollar-plus club for median house prices

It’s a region that also obliterated the Queensland house price record with the $34 million sale of a Sunshine Beach trophy home at 17 Webb Road in June this year – a sale that came hot on the heels of the $14 million transaction of 8 Noosa Court, Noosa Heads, a three-bedroom penthouse that eclipsed the previous Sunshine Coast apartment record by $5 million.

 Sunshine Coast

The pandemic-era lifestyle changes have created a perfect storm for the Sunshine Coast’s prestige market. Photo: Supplied 

Both sales were handled by Tom Offermann, of the eponymous real estate firm.

While the quiet beachside strip still lacks the grandeur of Sydney’s Darling Point or the overwhelming wealth of Melbourne’s Toorak, property experts say the unstoppable wave of buyer demand is paving the way for an unprecedented growth cycle.

“Our buyer base was traditionally wealthy, self-funded retirees, but now we’re seeing this massive influx of young, financially capable families who are picking up properties in A-grade positions, and we’re seeing a lot of younger wealth that’s coming out of IT, finance and tech that’s tapping into new lifestyle opportunities [off the back of COVID-19]. So, we’re right at the beginning,” Adrian Reed of Noosa’s Reed and Co Estate Agents said.

“The abundance of nature, shopping, the beaches and the prestige amenity that is afforded to us is pretty desirable … and it’s all limited stock, so there’s going to be [further] price increases. In fact, we’re probably in what appears to be the early stages of a fairly significant growth cycle.


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