The City of Gold Coast Council is once again proposing a cableway from Mudgeeraba to Springbrook National Park and have commissioned a feasibility study which will be presented to Councillors in February. Gecko is extremely concerned that this proposal has been raised again as the Government report in 2000 clearly stated the reasons it should not proceed.

The Spit and its Master Plan – January 2021

The Spit continues to be very popular with residents and visitors as a place to relax and recreate especially in the challenging year that was 2020. Its value to the Gold Coast community cannot be disputed as the public sought to enjoy our green and blue recreational areas. The commitment of so many in the community since 2003 to protecting The Spit has been justified over and over again and they will continue to watch over it during the implementation of the Master Plan and beyond. There are many positive happenings on The Spit, but still some issues that require on going advocacy and vigilance. The positives are the projects relating to the adopted Master Plan and issues relate to the cruise terminal in Phillip Park and helicopter flights.

Coomera Connector Road Update 5 January 2021

This is a proposed 4-6 lane highway with speeds up to 100km/h which will run roughly parallel to the east of the M1 and which is purported to remove 60,000 vehicles from the M1 and reduce congestion on the M1. However the end result will be 14 lanes of traffic from the Gold Coast to the Logan Motorway and no increase in public transport patronage.
At present there is funding of $1.53 billion for Stage 1 only and the project will begin mid-year with the construction of the Coomera River Bridge. Stage 1 is from Nerang to Coomera. Public consultation is likely in the first half of 2021. See for full details.

EPBC Bi-Lateral Approval Bill-Submission about Proposed Changes

Over that time Gecko, as a leading regional environmental body, has actively participated in all
consultations relating the EPBC Act, the cornerstone of Australia’s environmental protection as well
as to development proposals that trigger Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES). In
this instance we would like to express our strong objection to this Bill, its manner of hasty passage
through Parliament and the lamentably curtailed debate that has taken place. We believe that this
Bill, which has been prematurely drafted and tabled, should have been informed by the final report
of the statutory independent review of the EPBC Act conducted by Prof Graeme Samuel AO. This has
yet to be presented to the public, together with the government’s considered response. The findings
of the preliminary report clearly stated that, “The EPBC Act is ineffective. It does not enable the
Commonwealth to protect and conserve environmental matters that are important for the nation.”
This view was backed up by the Australian National Audit Office which found that the federal
government’s administration of the EPBC Act was neither effective nor efficient.
No proof has been provided to demonstrate that the Bill will provide increased efficiency or a reduction of the costs of development applications.

Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act Proposals

The Federal legislation the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) is under review by Professor Samuels, and his final report is due for release prior to Christmas. In the meantime the Federal Government is pushing through a Bill called Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation (Streamlining Approvals) Bill which gives the State Governments the role of assessing development applications under the EPBC Act, without any national standards to guide their decisions. Gecko is opposing this undue haste and has requested that such a decision is delayed at least until February 2021 until the Review report is made public and national standards are developed.

Gecko’s Campaigns Team Annual Report 2020

This year began with the horrific fires along the eastern seaboard and we were all very distressed not only with the human loss of life and property, but also the loss and injury of an estimated 3 billion native animals. The impact of this are still with us and are compounded by the inadequate Federal and State environment laws to protect wildlife and native plants remaining.
The year continued with the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic in March, which resulted in the closing of the Gecko House office for several months, but the work of the campaigns team continued during the lockdown. The Campaign team works in 4 main areas – Biodiversity, Climate Change, Protection of Public Open Space and a Liveable Green City


In a few weeks Queenslanders will go to the polls to elect a government for the next 4 years and those of us in the conservation movement will be examining closely each party’s policies on the environment. No major party is without fault in failing to protect the amazing biodiversity we have in Queensland or taking effective action on climate change. It is understandable that during the pandemic and in its aftermath the focus of any government will be on getting the economy going, but unfortunately this is often at the expense of the environment on which the economy depends. This is very clearly seen in the situation with Queensland national parks. See for more info.