On Sunday 10th March the Premier, Anastasia Palaszczuk, and the Minister for Planning, Hon. Cameron Dick launched the draft Spit Master Plan at Muriel Henchman Park on The Spit. After 40 years of campaigning to protect The Spit public open space from unsuitable development we finally have a Plan.
This Plan is now available for public comment via the government website www.qld.gov.au/thespit and Gecko urges all those with an interest in the future of The Spit to put in their comments in the survey or write directly to Minister Dick firstname.lastname@example.org .
Overall Gecko is pleased with the result of nearly 18 months of public consultation as it protects and enhances the green spaces, while allowing the many recreational opportunities available. The development south of SeaWorld is confined to redevelopment of the commercial areas and some state land which could be quite exciting if some imagination is used. The 3 storey height limit remains.
The next community stakeholder workshop in early April will consider the draft Plan, but will also be discussing the governance and financing of the much needed restoration and facilities. Governance is important as we want to ensure that there is good community representation on the body to look after the Spit. Gecko is also keen to find out what the Government has in mind for legislation to protect The Spit public open space from any future attempts of development north of SeaWorld.
The financing of the suggested restoration of green spaces, park facilities, upgraded walking and bike tracks, the signature tower at the Seaway, the Aboriginal cultural centre and much more, is crucial to the success of the Plan.
The Premier indicated that it would probably take 10 years to complete due to its large size (it is 8 times the size of Southbank), but there will be funds in this year’s Budget for The Spit Master Plan. It will also be important for the community to have input into the priorities for expenditure.
Gecko will continue to oppose the proposed ocean side cruise terminal on Philip Park. Any further work on this proposal by Council cannot proceed until the end of 2019, but Gecko is ready to work with other community groups to oppose this non-viable development, which alienates our public open space.Gecko also opposes the constant reference in the Plan to a light rail extension to SeaWorld, especially as this was ruled out during 2018, when the Mayor attempted to get it prioritised in order to enable high rise development on The Spit. Current Council policy allows increased density and therefore height within 800m radius of any light rail station. The height limit on The Spit will remain at 3 storeys. All that is needed is a good bus service to the Seaway.