Discover more from The GC Minute
Today’s newsletter is 774 words: 3.5 minute read.
It’s Thursday-Friday (a super long weekend starts tomorrow!)
In today’s email:
Fast-tracked trams: Starting at the end of the line
Where are the papers: Only one left on the Gold Coast
Trending: Indexing HECS debts
Around the Web: Marine Stadium
🎧 Now hear this - A podcast on the greatest men and women to ever live.
Easter Long Weekend Weather
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1. One big thing: Fast-tracked GC Trams from the border, up
The City Council is expediting the Light Rail Stage 4 project from the Gold Coast Airport by allocating $5 million for further investigations.
Why it matters
Building costs keep going up.
By the sounds, the importance of promptly moving forward with Light Rail Stage 4 planning will avoid cost overruns.
It will also capitalise on the workforce currently involved in Light Rail Stage 3.
The new ratepayer funding will cover land resumptions along the Burleigh-to-Coolangatta coastal route, planning and environmental concerns.
With stage 4 planning starting way back in 2020 and with community consultation been and gone, the business report will finally be released in a matter of weeks.
What the people say
For months and a few years now, people from either side of the track have been slinging insults and opinions at each other. Especially on forums, as you can see here.
In general, it appears there is significant support for light rail, with pro-tram stickers reportedly appearing in Coolangatta, Kirra, and Tugun in recent weeks.
The bigger picture
There was a five-year gap between the completion of Stage 2 and the commencement of Stage 3, and the City cannot afford that to be repeated between Stages 3 and 4.
Once the community consultation report has finally been released in a few weeks, a final and more detailed $10 million study will be done.
This final study will take into account the previous community feedback, costs, risks and design options.
From here, a shortlist of project options will be presented for the City to choose from so that everyone can just get on with the job.
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2. Where did the papers go?
The Gold Coast only has one news source left.
Since late 2019, more than 100 of the 435 Australian regional newspapers have ceased printing.
Once upon a time..
The Gold Coast had five or so papers.
The Border Star - ceased 1942
Gold Coast Mail - ceased 2011
Gold Coast Sun - ceased June 2020
The South Coast Bulletin - ceased 1963
Over the past two years since 3023, the total annual print readership across has been dropping rapidly.
What does it mean?
It means that the news consumed here is hyper-curated through one channel, despite many readers not realising their lack of options.
There was even a parliamentary hearing last year about the impact of the decline of local newspapers and the industry at large.
Just this week, only up the road from the Gold Coast, the Redland City Bulletin, as well as the Jimboomba Times, closed all forms of print and digital media.
Western Australians lost four local papers as well.
The dominoes of decades-old print media companies appear to keep falling, with a void being left wide open for a better and more sustainable business model to fill the gap.
🔥 HECS debt ‘indexing’ gets the blowtorch as rates rise
4. Around The Web
The new pontoon: And jetty are officially opened at Marine Stadium in time for the Easter long weekend.
This 100-metre-long multi-purpose facility means that for the first time ever that recreational and commercial vessels will be able to pull up and drop visitors off from the same spot.
After a long hiatus: AirAsia X has resumed its direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast, bringing an additional 58,000 inbound international seats to the popular Australian tourist destination.
The move is expected to boost the Gold Coast Visitor Economy by a whopping $45.6 million.
With the Queensland State Government backing AirAsia X with a $200 million aviation war chest, it's clear that the airline is committed to growing its flight schedule and investing in the Gold Coast region's future.
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