There’s no doubt that since the G:Link light rail service carried its first passengers in October 2014, Gold Coast culture is changing.

The tramline has brought a much-needed aura of sophistication to our sunshine city which is now comparable to the cosmopolitan air that lingers over Australian capitals like Melbourne.

From Broadbeach to Southport and – since the implementation of phase 2 late last year – Broadbeach to Helensvale, travelling around our city is now cheaper, more convenient and a lot of fun!

With plans approved for stage 3 of the light rail, and the final stop confirmed as Justin’s Park in the beachside suburb of Burleigh Heads, it’s proposed that construction of the 7 km extension will begin in June 2020.

But how will this development of the light rail system impact locals?

As many residents campaign against the light rail in the once-sleepy beachside suburb, is it time the town woke up and embraced the opportunities the track will bring?

If you’re still sitting on the fence, consider the following benefits:

It will support economic growth

Burleigh has a character of its very own and the light rail will undoubtedly bring an influx of visitors to our suburb to see what all the fuss is about.

This will help build all local businesses. From ice cream parlours to the one-off boutiques that line James Street, to the broad range of bars, cafes, and restaurants.

For all businesses in the region, but particularly those which have struggled through recent economic downturns, cash flow will increase, and profits will soar. The convenience of getting to Burleigh Heads for tourists who are naturally attracted to the bright lights of Surfers Paradise will contribute to economic growth across the suburb.

More convenient to get to the airport

Burleigh locals without access to a car currently have limited options to get to Brisbane international airport by public transport alone. Catching the G:Link from Burleigh Heads to Helensvale heavy rail station will make travelling overseas much more comfortable and more convenient.

More employment opportunities

With faster and cheaper access to major business hubs like Southport and Brisbane, the light rail extension will provide limitless employment opportunities to Burleigh residents who are currently restricted due to lack of affordable transport opportunities.

It will increase property values

According to Mayor Tom Tate the light rail will “cause an uplift in property values for 800m on both sides of the track.”

Living near a public transport line is of great value to homeowners and investment property owners. As tourists start to bypass popular Gold Coast destinations like Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach in favour of staying in beautiful Burleigh, property value and occupancy rates will both increase.

Whatever your feelings about the $650 million extension, stage 3 is proposed to begin in June 2020. While some residents are concerned that Burleigh will lose the casual village feel that it’s known and loved for, the addition of the light rail will help more people appreciate the attractions of the place that we call home.

Are you a Burleigh resident who will feel the impact if the light rail expansion? We’d love to hear from you.