Pity about parking
By YVONNE McLEAN
A STADIUM worthy of one of Australia's best loved sports rugby league ? a stadium figuratively gold plated in cost and conditions ? was last week signed off by the Gold Coast City Council.
Financed by the Queensland Government and built on Robina land provided by the council (land cost $17 million) this stadium proudly proclaimed better than any in Australia and anywhere else, will seat more than 25,000 spectators.
This will be the home of the Titans, but other codes, other sports, able to utilise the shape of the rugby league ground will have a place in this edifice tipped to become a modern icon to honour sport.
But there is a problem ? the number of car parks.
The council officer's report calls for 640 car parking spaces in the main parking area east of Stadium Drive.
Not enough, not nearly enough, according to Cr Eddy Sarroff.
He called for the number to be increased to 1000 but Mayor Ron Clarke said in his opinion 2000 spaces would be needed.
A number of councillors voiced concerns about where special coaches would park during games.
However Robina-based councillor Jan Grew said just as organisers had promoted public transport including shuttle buses to Indy, so too would public transport especially by train be heavily promoted to the stadium.
"More car parking facilities is exactly what we don't want," Cr Grew said.
"We have to tell our residents please, do not take your cars to the stadium, come by bus or train, it is in everyone's best interests to avoid chaos on the roads, that public transport must be promoted. I certainly will not support any more car parking," she said.
However a majority vote rejected her advice and council will seek a new report on the need for more car parking.
This brought a sharp retort from Cr David Power who accused and 'complimented' council in acting in a most intransigent way.
"You (those who voted for more car parks) have gone against our planning scheme and philosophy to get people out of their cars and into public transport.
"If we make these kinds of conditions we may well find an input is taken out of our hands. Well done," he said.
Council's approval lists 62 conditions for government consideration ? the site is close to the Robina Railway Station north of the intersection of Cheltenham Drive and Laver Drive. The area chosen for the stadium is five hectares. The car park is just on two hectares and is located east of the stadium site. Construction work ? initial stage? will soon be evident to all around.
This multi-purpose stadium, imagined not long ago as an impossible dream will have a civic heart, a plaza and concourse, retail, businesses of variety, a street scene to encourage a sense of vitality, colour and excitement ? day in, day out, irrespective of games.
The design of infrastructure and car parking is a partnership between the council, Robina Land Corporation and the Queensland Government.
For many this proposal is the vision splendid ? the reality that places the Gold Coast on the world stage with a great sport facility.
Cr Christine Robbins, whose previous business interests coped with extensive car parking, said all the car spaces that Robina could provide would not be enough for a major game.
"It is a very safe bet that very few will find a car park, most who do the silly thing and try to get there by car will find themeselves listening to the game on their car radio," she said.
A report on this highly controversial issue is expected for another year and hot debate.
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