Schoolies on scooters in Surfers Paradise. Photo: Richard Gosling
Schoolies on scooters in Surfers Paradise. Photo: Richard Gosling

Electric scooters in Surfers: ’Someone will die’

SURFERS Paradise residents fear someone will need to die before electric scooters are banned from the boardwalk, State Parliament has been told.

Surfers Paradise LNP MP John-Paul Langbroek said residents in the Gold Coast's tourism heart during the busy Christmas-New Year period feared that their children and pets would be hit by motorised bikes.

"This is particularly significant for older people and people with children who are concerned about the serious damage that can be done if they or someone in their care were to be hit by one of these vehicles as well as the injuries suffered by those riding the scooters," he said.

"We are talking about things that are more like motorbikes than the six horsepower motor scooters they are supposed to be."

 

A woman receives medical attention after riding her electric hire bike straight into a barrier on Orchid Ave.
A woman receives medical attention after riding her electric hire bike straight into a barrier on Orchid Ave.

 

Mr Langbroek in the Parliament read out a letter from a resident who had just moved to Surfers Paradise.

"In my opinion it is just a matter of time before there is a serious accident - or worse - caused by these vehicles," the woman wrote.

Another resident, from the northern Gold Coast who walks along the Esplanade with a friend, called his electorate office after witnessing two near accidents.

"I spoke with a constituent after he submitted a letter to the Gold Coast Bulletin about motorised scooters," Mr Langbroek said.

"During our phone conversation he said - I know this is a terrible thing to say, but it looks like a fatality is required before the laws are changed. I'm concerned that many people can't hear them and someone will be killed

Schoolies riding scooters in Surfers Paradise. Picture: Tim Marsden
Schoolies riding scooters in Surfers Paradise. Picture: Tim Marsden

 

 

"It is clear that based on his responses, the Palaszczuk Labor Government's Minister for Transport and Main Roads could not care less about this serious safety issue."

Mr Langbroek said Mayor Tom Tate, area councillor Gary Baildon, local business owners, the Surfers Paradise Alliance and residents wanted motorised scooters banned from the footpaths.

Cr Baildon had admitted to residents that electric bikes had been "a thorn in council's side for some years"

Councillors in late 2017 asked council officers to investigate what powers were available to ban the motorised bikes on beaches and boardwalks after being bombarded with complaints.

Cr Tate late last year after the backing of all councillors organised for an urgent meeting with Transport Minister Mark Bailey in a bid to pull the plug on the speedy - and silent - machines.

Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek MP. Picture: Jerad Williams
Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek MP. Picture: Jerad Williams

The plan by council was to "get the state law and council law in synch" given the scooters were becoming more powerful and more of them were on the footpath.

Mr Langbroek said the Mayor had written to Mr Bailey on numerous times but his concerns were yet to be addressed.

"It is agreed that the situation with such powered vehicles is unacceptable in certain areas of our city, especially on our high profile foreshores. Stop saying it is a Fair Trading issue, stop saying it is up to our police. Fix it before someone dies," Mr Langbroek said.

The Bulletin is seeking a response from Mr Bailey. He has previously told Mr Langbroek that the his department maintained "the current laws are adequate" and it was up to police and Fair Trading to enforce the regulations.



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