The Spit and Broadwater Background Information
Public Consultation on the future of The Spit is underway right now and Gecko urges everyone concerned about the integrity of our City Plan and the protection of public open space Go to the link to register now for this consultation.
The consultation is in two parts.
- The first relates the development potential of a block of Crown Land south of SeaWorld, which is currently the site of the ASF Consortium proposal for 5 high rise towers and a casino resort.
- The second relates the public open space of The Spit, including all the land to the north and east of SeaWorld and also Philip Park, east of Seaworld Drive.
You will receive an email confirming your registration and shortly an online survey and information about both aspects of this consultation.
The Donaldson Company is undertaking the consultation on behalf of the Department of State Development which will shortly have additional information on its website
The Consultation will give you the opportunity to reject the ASF proposal or any other high rise proposed for the Spit and to make suggestions on what is appropriate for the Crown land lease area, as long as it complies with the City Plan.
Gecko is working in collaboration with Save Our Spit Alliance, Save Our Broadwater Assoc. Main Beach Assoc. Wildlife Queensland, Gold Coast and others.
- To prevent the ASF proposal being approved,
- To stop all high rise development on The Spit and
- To achieve permanent protection of Spit public open space with more adequate facilities for the thousands of visitors each year.
1. The ASF Proposal for 5 high rise towers on The Spit fails to comply with the new City Plan, which has a three storey height limit, and the requirement for non-residential development. There is no detail about this proposal, simply some drawings published in the local media and no research to back up their claims. This proposal represents a serious precedent situation because other developers, particularly the Sheraton and SeaWorld would be likely to want high rise as well. High rise development, such as 10 or more high rise buildings on The Spit, will generate such major traffic congestion that the whole area could be in permanent gridlock. In trying to get around this problem the ASF Consortium has proposed a new bridge and a light rail extension to cope with this, again with no detailed research information to back up their drawings. The new bridge would meet up at the intersection with Queen St, where the existing bridge also meets, and a light rail cannot hope to cope with the many thousands of extra people generated by these proposals.
2. Gecko supports the call for an Indigenous cultural centre which is long overdue on the Gold Coast and could be designed to blend in with the aesthetics and visual amenity of The Spit.
The Consultation will also give you a chance to tell Government what facilities you would like to see in the parklands of The Spit.
Some of the possibilities for the public open space include:
Control of illegal camping; no cruise terminal access from Philip Park; Barbeque and picnic facilities, including access to water in Doug Jennings Park and around Marine Stadium; shade tree planning in Doug Jennings Park ; perhaps a “natural” amphitheatre in DG park; a small toilet block close to Moondawarra Spit; upgraded roads; a shaded parking area – either trees or shade cloth; seats for viewing both east, north and west; new café; designated public camping and facilities adjacent to SeaWorld; carefully considered lighting; a bus from SeaWorld to the Seaway to facilitate public access and reduce cars.
Background - What is The Spit and Broadwater?
The Spit is a small tongue of sand which extends from Main Beach to the Seaway and is a significant part of the Broadwater, a tidal body of water stretching from Jumpinpin in the north to Sundale Bridge in the South.
The Broadwater is an important recreational and tourism asset providing a place for boating, sailing, swimming, diving, fishing, picnicking and access to excellent surfing on South Stradbroke Island and The Spit. An economic report completed by Urbis (2012) estimated the economic value of the Broadwater at $4.2 billion.
An ecological report (2012) demonstrated the exceptional biodiversity of both the terrestrial and aquatic components of the Broadwater.
The Spit is divided into the southern section which is mainly Crown land leases for development on the western side which includes SeaWorld, a hotel, a high end shopping centre, Government department, fishing trawler marina and on the eastern side parkland and a hotel. All of these developments comply with the three storey, non-residential requirements of the City Plan 2015.
North of SeaWorld the whole area is public open space, consisting on the eastern side of Philip Park and Federation Walk, an extensive volunteer rehabilitation site for native vegetation which has been operating for 10 years. At the Seaway end of this section is the sand bypass system, the café and the sea wall. On the western side there is a fringe of parkland along the road, the marine stadium, a still water swimming, picnicking, boat mooring area; the Spit Finger.
- To retain, protect and rehabilitate the public open space on The Spit and Broadwater for the preservation of the natural environment and the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
- To uphold the integrity of the City Plan 2015 in regard to retaining the three storey height limit, no residential development, the aesthetics and points of difference from surrounding high rise urban areas and sustainable access.
History of Proposals for development on The Spit
Proposals for development on The Spit have engaged Gecko campaigners and members in action to protect the public open space of The Spit and Broadwater since Gecko was formed in 1989. These proposals included ideas to develop the whole of The Spit, to build a horizon tank for the movie industry, to have a big carousel and a marine simulator amongst other things.
However the ongoing campaign for the protection of public open space since 2003 has been to oppose a cruise ship terminal on either The Spit or Wavebreak Island.
High rise development:
Gecko is opposing proposed high rise developments south of SeaWorld that do not comply with the City Plan. These include the 2015 application by Sunland for two 44 storey towers at Mariners Cove and the current (2016-17) concept drawings put forward by the ASF Consortium for 5X45 storey towers as part of an integrated casino based resort on Crown lease land to the south of SeaWorld.
The Gold Coast community has never been consulted about whether they want a second casino. Neither of these comply with the three storey height limit or the requirement for non-residential development. They represent a serious precedent for The Spit as other developers, particularly the Sheraton and SeaWorld would be likely to want high rise as well. High rise development on The Spit will generate major traffic congestion issues to exacerbate the existing traffic congestion. The ASF Consortium has proposed a new bridge and a light rail extension to cope with this. However the new bridge would meet up at the intersection with Queen St, where the existing bridge also meets, and a light rail cannot hope to cope with the thousands of extra people generated by these proposals.
High rise development on The Spit will generate major traffic congestion issues to exacerbate the existing traffic congestion. The ASF Consortium has proposed a new bridge and a light rail extension to cope with this. However the new bridge would meet up at the intersection with Queen St, where the existing bridge also meets, and a light rail cannot hope to cope with the thousands of extra people generated by these proposals.
This proposal and the future of the Crown land is now under discussion and you can have your say.
The Sunland application was withdrawn from Council when the Planning Officers produced 14 reasons to reject the application for non-compliance with the Planning Scheme. The Mayor has suggested that they re-apply when there is either a master plan for The Spit or the City Plan can be changed to accommodate high rise development.
Gecko is one of many community organisations and individuals opposing high rise.
Cruise Terminal Proposal off shore of The Spit
Parallel to the issues about development on The Spit is the Mayor’s proposal for an off shore cruise terminal. This could consist of a very long pier from Philip Park at which cruise ships would berth and passengers would be transported to The Spit by golf buggies or similar.
The practicalities of this idea are being investigated in a feasibility study funded by ratepayer funds. It is not known when the study will be available for public scrutiny.
In the meantime a major home port cruise ship terminal is being constructed at Luggage Point at the mouth of the Brisbane River.
This facility being constructed by Carnival Cruise Company will be linked to the Gold Coast and Brisbane by rail and visitors will be able to visit the Gold Coast.
Gecko objects to the Gold Coast proposed terminal for the following reasons:
- A previous economic study by AECom in 2012 found that a cruise terminal on the Gold Coast was not financially viable. This is even more so since the construction of the Luggage Point terminal which can take the bigger ships.
- It is physically unlikely that a pier could be constructed that would make a safe berth for big ships close to a surf zone. Similar constructions in other parts of the world are in protected waters.
- The terminal would require the alienation of public open space in Philip Park for arrivals and transport needed to move the visiting passengers to other places around the Gold Coast.
- The traffic generated by any ships that do call in will increase the traffic congestion on The Spit
- Cruise ships are known to be big polluters due to the low grade fuel they use. The ships engines would be generating pollution through the visit. This pollution is said to be equal to 44,000 car emissions per day.