OPINION: The Queensland government is taking a mighty gamble with the impending Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Recent power outages, rail debacles and continued congestion on the M1 Pacific Motorway, have highlighted the lack of proper oversight and planning for the major international sporting event.
With just under three weeks remaining until the games kick off, the jury is still out on the speed limit and congestion management arrangements put in place for the M1 Pacific Motorway. The road continues to be riddled with choke points and almost daily accidents.
There have also been a number of other problems with the state of disrepair of the rail and power networks around the south-east corner.
Major power outages, numerous rail cancellations or suspensions and, minor motorway and arterial road accidents, have plagued Brisbane and the Gold Coast over the past two months. This has clearly shown that the state government has not done enough planning to prepare the region for the million-plus spectators expected at the biggest event to hit the sunshine state in more than three decades.
While the time taken to repair fallen powerlines and downed trees over rail lines is not a blight on the hard-working men and woman out in the field each day, it is a serious consequence of the lack of detailed planning and infrastructure upgrades required for such an event.
The government appears to be gambling on hundreds-of-thousands of residents following instructions and leaving the car at home, which is not something Queenslanders are accustomed to. It has been proven that those around the south-east corner prefer to jump in the car instead of waiting for a train, further illustrating the lack of confidence they have in the network.
The state government will be all smiles at the opening ceremony on April 4, although it may be short lived if any storms roll over the area. As a person who will be attending the games as a spectator, only time will tell if myself and thousands of others will be able to make it to the events on time due to issues outside of our control.
There will not be much use of trains and trams running 24-hours a day during the event if there is no power to operate the network, overhead wires not being fixed in a timely fashion or there are continued signal outages.
The state should have done more to prepare itself by investing earlier to upgrade the ageing infrastructure instead of resting on its morals and a wish and a prayer.
I really do hope I am wrong as it will be an embarrassment to all.