The extension for Light Rail is a hotly contested conversation. Politicians continue to advocate for it whilst many in the community raise their concerns of the impact it will have on their neighbourhood, and the environment.

Sure, it is easy for politicians to say they understand the growing pains and the impact it has on communities. There are many factors that need exploring and questions answered. But the reality is that the road system is failing us, and Australia’s fastest growing city needs a solution.

And let’s continue with the frankness – the extension to the airport is long overdue in both planning and delivery. The new international airport terminal is a great thing for the city and opens later in the year. It connects us to new markets, new tourists, and new opportunities.

Being ‘A Connected City’ is an advocacy pillar that is important to Young Professionals Gold Coast, but to think we’re going to have to muddle through the next decade whilst the Light Rail route reaches the airport is unfathomable. This really is ‘cart before the horse’ stuff.

But it is easy to sit behind a keyboard and criticise. What we need to do is support the Light Rail and open the opportunity to be an international city with open arms. The halcyon days are long behind us. We’re struggling beneath the weight of growth and the Light Rail is surely part of the solution to a better-connected city. The supposed envy to the rest of Australia. When it is completed, of course.

Recent statistics produced by the Urbis Economics and Property team indicate that the Gold Coast anticipates the rise in population to increase to 1 million people by 2041. It raises important questions of where will they live? How will our infrastructure accommodate them? You don’t need us to tell you that our roads and public transport systems are already outdated and in need of an upgrade.

This growth is inevitable, we can’t push back on that. It’s simply not up for debate. And as the Gold Coast continues to become ones of the premier places to live, not just in Queensland, but in Australia, Light Rail isn’t just an option, but a necessity. Especially if we are aiming to reduce our dependency on private car travel.

And whilst this all comes to fruition, let’s have a strong plan for the east to west infrastructure. We’re a linear city but we’re not all living on the beach front in Hedges Av. We’re being pushed further with house prices skyrocketing and without a more holistic plan, we’re just simply shifting the issue.

Written on behalf of Young Professionals Gold Coast by Grant Brisland and Josh Daley”