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BURLEIGH locals have raised transport, traffic, crime and homelessness as the main issues they want addressed at the state election.
MP Michael Hart has held the Burleigh seat for two terms after defeating Labor’s Christine Smith at the 2012 election.
The LNP holds a 5.5 per cent margin and political analyst Stephen Stockwell said he would be surprised if Mr Hart was beaten at the poll.
“I actually live in this electorate (and) I would be surprised if he didn’t keep his seat,” Mr Stockwell said.
“The thing that really strikes me is the impact the M1 has on the southern end of the city.
“The M1 is getting a lot of play on the northern end but it’s a huge issue here, especially trying to get on and off.”
David Forsyth, who owns Burleigh Heads Newsagency, says the Burleigh light rail proposal is a joke. Photo: Richard GoslingAs for the hotly debated light rail extension, Mr Stockwell said it wasn’t a question of whether it would be extended south but where it would go.
Mr Hart said he supported the extension but conceded many locals were against it.
“We’ve got a light rail that goes nowhere,” he said. “I’m a big supporter of it coming to Burleigh ... the real issue for us in the rest of the electorate is actually down at Palm Beach.
“Nobody there wants the light rail (because) the roads are too narrow and they will lose a lot of space.”
Surfers wait for waves at Burleigh Point. Picture: Luke Marsden.Despite concerns from locals about homelessness and parking issues in the main hub of Burleigh Heads, Mr Hart said his campaign would focus on local schools.
Helen Gibson, who owns health food shop Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods, said parking was such a nightmare that drivers were using the private alleyway behind her store.
“It’s a bit out of control,” she said.
“And it means that supply trucks can’t reach us.
“I remember there was talk about building a multi-level car park ... anything that will create more parking spaces is good for the area.”
Helen Gibson, who owns health food shop Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods, says parking in Burleigh is a nightmare. Picture: Richard GoslingPenni Gray, owner of fashion store Miss Brown Vintage Clothing, said theft was rampant on Burleigh’s trendy James Street.
“We’ve had quite a few things stolen,” she said.
“I’ve only had this shop for two years but the lady in the store next door was telling me it’s worse than it’s ever been.”
David Forsyth, who owns Burleigh Heads Newsagency, said the light rail proposal was a joke.
“The State Government needs to say ‘no’ because it will kill this place,” he said.
“You come here on a Saturday and there’s no room to move as it is, there’s so much traffic.
“You put a light rail down the middle and there will be no room for cars to flow through.”
Penni Gray, owner of fashion store Miss Brown Vintage Clothing, says theft is rampant on Burleigh’s trendy James Street. Photo: Richard GoslingBURLEIGH
Held by: Michael Hart (LNP) since 2012
5.5 per cent margin
Previously: Christine Smith (ALP)
Candidates: Michael Hart (LNP), Peter Burgoyne (Greens), Gail Hislop (ALP)
Suburbs: Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Varsity Lakes, Palm Beach, Tallebudgera
Electorate population: 34,044
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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