LET OUR LIFESTYLE BE THE ENDURING GAMES IMAGE
COMPETING destinations offer built heritage spanning thousands of years, impacted by events, religion, conflict, art, industry and climate. The Commonwealth Games will add a spotlight on our city. Our “Coming of Age”. So what should the legacy from the Commonwealth Games be?
I am hoping to be bursting with pride in our Gold Coast lifestyle. Gold Coast Tourism have repositioned the city recently with “We are Gold Coast” and it’s consistent with promotion of our environment and the balance between development and conservation. We need both but if in doubt conservation and protection of lifestyle should come first.
Thank goodness for the Games motivating a decision for light rail stage two, connecting Broadbeach to Brisbane via a change at Helensvale – it gives an alternative to the car and it creates much needed employment during construction and confidence thereafter. I look forward to the light rail going all the way to Gold Coast Airport and Coolangatta so residents and visitors alike can enjoy the length of the coast. No international airport could rely as we do on the M1 alone. Arguments against light rail, the disruption during construction and the lack of planning for park-and-ride must be respected but there are places to build off-street car parks and transfer to light and heavy rail – let’s find the solutions.
Let’s invest also in walking! We have the best climate in the world, the world heritage rainforests and the world class surfing beaches – during the Games promotion there will be images of the same – let’s make sure there is a political commitment to funding light rail in the state election ahead of and beyond the Games and reliable funding of walking and cycle tracks and alternative access to and from events.
Let’s look at the great examples of New Zealand and Tasmania, or the “Great Noosa Trail” to see what positives these bring to lifestyle, sustainable employment and attractiveness to visitors. Let’s connect Springbrook to the Ocean by walking trails – there are myriad unmarked public reserves already that just need sensitive management.
As the Gold Coast celebrates the amazing Swell Festival this weekend I suggest we all reflect on how “Swell” – a celebration of art and the environment – inspires each other and should inspire the world. Let’s make sure the world recognises we are investing in our lifestyle, a lifestyle to share, with real alternatives to the car to access world class rainforests to world class beaches as our future “unique selling point” – our legacy. The time is now, let’s not have traffic congestion be our image. We are Gold Coast – we love it.