‘This is bureaucracy at its worst’
A trip to a local restaurant in a golf cart has sparked an ugly stoush between residents of an exclusive Gold Coast suburb, the cops and the council.
John Kirkland described the debacle as "bureaucracy at its worst", after he was fined $313 for driving his golf cart onto Caseys Road in Hope Island, as he ventured from his Sanctuary Manors home to have lunch with his wife at a local restaurant.
"We got the sirens and the flashing lights and everything … police said they had given warnings to residents but we had never been advised that it was illegal to travel down that road and neither had 70 of our neighbours," he said.
Mr Kirkland fought for three months to have the fine from the police overturned, before paying it out of pure frustration.
But Mr Kirkland, who is also the chair of body corporate for the Sanctuary Manors Resort, has vowed to continue battling for the right to drive around in his golf cart.
He argues the vehicle, which is fully registered and has permits to operate in Hope Island, should be allowed to cut across the dead-end road to get to the Hope Island - Sanctuary Cove golf buggy track as an eco-friendly alternative to cars.
"This is an example of bureaucracy at its worst," he said.
"You've got permits, a licensed driver, a registered vehicle, and still there's a 100-metre strip of road that we can't drive down!"
Mr Kirkland said it was "ridiculous" that honest, respectable people were being targeted, while hoons on motorised bikes are allowed to tear up footpaths on the Glitter Strip with no consequences.
Mr Kirkland said he had spent months requesting meetings with council and Division 3 councillor Cameron Caldwell, but is yet to be acknowledged.
Other body corporate managers in Hope Island told the Bulletin they also wanted golf carts to be given more rights on the roads.
Chairman of body corporate at Cova South, Steve Moore began pushing for a crossing over Santa Barbara Rd two years ago, so that "around 2000 residents" could get from their resorts to the shops and cafes.
"It's so trivial, it's a joke," he said.
"It makes me feel like we're nothing, because (council) could fix it if they wanted to."
Mr Moore said he had also been given a warning by police for driving his golf cart within the grounds of his resort.
"We have the support of the local businesses and of Sanctuary Cove- they want us coming in to the estate and spending money, the golf courses want us coming there to play," He said.
Mr Moore said it was not fair given residents pay rates in order to live in the area.
Cr Cameron Caldwell said a previous crossing established around 2015 was a "significant step" forward for the area and council was "open" to extending the network.
Broadwater MP David Crisafulli said he was also aware of the matter.
"I want them to have a fair hearing and if it can be done then yes, but if it can't be done they need to be honest about it," he said.