No Answers & Sham Community Consulation from ASF
Where are the facts? Where are the answers? asks Lois Levy
October was the month that ASF Consortium was expected to under “extensive community consultation” about its proposed development on Wavebreak Island and the Cruise Terminal.
It was also the month when Gecko tried another tack to get a response to the three letters sent to Deputy Premier Seeney since June, and it was the month that ASF made unsubstantiated claims that the biggest of the cruise ships could use the Broadwater.
December 7th will be your opportunity to express your opposition to the ASF Wavebreak Island and cruise terminal proposal.
Put the date in your diary or phone. We will literally need everybody we can must to be at this forthcoming rally.
A Sham Consultation
On October 14 Deputy Premier Seeney’s Facebook stated that “I have made it very clear to the proponent ASF and GCCC that the community consultation process they are responsible for conducting needs to be very comprehensive if they are to get the social licence necessary to proceed with this project from our Government”, but the current round of consultations which were completed by October 31 demonstrates that ASF Consortium has failed this test.
The Facebook comment further states that the Newspoll community consultation undertaken by ASF in April this year was also patently inadequate and The Spit as a site for development was removed from ASF’s grasp because “we found the proponent could not sufficiently prove community support.”
This discredited Newspoll, that was unacceptable to the Deputy Premier, still forms a major part of the current community consultation.
All the forms of “consultation” used by ASF in October are still based on artist’s impressions, with no firm plans or reports to provide solid information to those “consulted” so that the community still has no real idea of what they are being consulted about or what the environmental, economic or social impacts would be.
Again there is barely a mention of the all important casino.
This is Totally Unacceptable
Gecko’s discussions with ASF Local Area Manager, Tim Poole, in late October demonstrated that the failed Newspoll “consultation” will still form part of ASF’s report to Government and was used as the basis for selecting participants in one of the stakeholder groups held last week. This is basically doubling up the figures to pad out a totally inadequate effort at community consultation during October.
The other forms of “consultation” are equally unimpressive and consisted of another stakeholder group of people who self- selected and business groups which apparently yielded between 50-65 people, which can hardly be described as “very comprehensive”.
Mr Poole made much of the online survey which is not a feedback on plans, but an attempt to pick the brains of those responding. Presumably the Information booth that does not provide much information is of the same ilk.
Mr Poole appeared confused about the State Government’s deadline of October 31 for consultation to demonstrate substantial community support for both the cruise terminal and the development of Wavebreak Island .
He described a process of ongoing information being dribbled out to the community over the next few months through various forms of media. He then expected interested parties to contact ASF for additional information as there would be no further formal community consultation. He seemed to believe this would be acceptable to the State Government.
Deputy Premier fails to answer our letters
Since June, Gecko has written three letters to the Deputy Premier seeking information about why the State Government was engaging in development proposals with the ASF Consortium which includes two companies banned by the World Bank for fraud and corruption.
Our letter specifically related to our concerns regarding the probity of the involvement of the two companies, China Communications Construction Company Ltd and China State Construction Engineering Corporations, that are partners in the ASF Consortium.
The notice that appears on the World Bank website can be viewed.
In August we wrote again asking for answers to our June letter and also raised the matter of the failure of ASF to meet the conditions for the now-defunct Broadwater Marine Project which have apparently been rolled over into the Integrated Resort Development process for the selection of a casino licence recipient.
ASF still has not met these stringent conditions, and still the Government fails to reject ASF’s proposals.
In September we wrote again requesting responses to our two previous letters and thanking the Deputy Premier for exempting The Spit from the ASF development proposal and cruise terminal.
The failure of the Deputy Premier’s Department to answer any of the three letters sent us to our local Member of Parliament and Minister for Tourism, Jann Stuckey, to ask for her help in getting a response. While we received a good hearing from Ms Stuckey and an assurance of a speedy response, we are still waiting three weeks later, but this was found on a web site.
Big Ships in the Broadwater
ASF recently conducted some 35 simulation runs to see if the largest of the cruise ships, i.e. over 361 metres, can access the Broadwater. Based on this inadequate trial— the original discredited simulation had 100 runs—ASF now assures us that the Gold Coast could accommodate the biggest ships. The report on these trials is not available for public scrutiny and there is no economic analysis of the viability of the terminal which will be in competition with the proposed all-weather, home-based terminal at the entrance of the Brisbane River.
ASF makes many claims about many things, but has consistently failed to come up with any hard facts or reports that are open to scrutiny.