The final Master Plan was accepted by all participants and the State Government in May 2019 and can be accessed at https://dsdmipprd.blob.core.windows.net/general/the-spit-master-plan-may-2019.pdf .
The Spit is 8 times the size of Southbank parklands so it has enormous potential to be the showcase parkland for the city.
It is essential that it is managed sustainably and is not loved to death.
Generally Gecko is pleased with the Plan, with the exception of the possible inclusion of the cruise ship terminal in Philip Park and the potential of a light rail extension to SeaWorld.
Gecko and other community organisations will continue to oppose the taking over of Philip Park public open space by a non-viable cruise terminal.
Those who oppose the cruise terminal were angered by the inclusion of a further $1.25 million in this year’s City of Gold Coast Budget for further reports. This is on top of the $800,000 for the cost of the PwC Feasibility Study which demonstrated that there would be no financial return on the terminal for 30 years, and whatever millions have been spent on the salaries of city planners taken off normal planning duties. All of this expenditure is despite Mayor Tate’s assertion that the cruise terminal “would not cost ratepayers a cent.”
The light rail is opposed for two reasons. Firstly it is extremely expensive infrastructure and by the time it was built, (after stages 3A and 3b to the airport), other new technology will be available. Secondly it is proposed to stop at SeaWorld resulting in no public transport to the Seaway. Gecko and many others have been requesting a shuttle bus that runs on a loop to the Seaway.
The development of the southern section of The Spit will be largely up to private enterprise perhaps with some government incentives.
It is hoped the Indigenous cultural centre will become a reality after decades of lobbying and that the fishing fleet will have the security of a fishermen’s wharf and berths.
The State Government has promised $60million over 4 years for the green spaces on the Spit. The detail in this announcement is lacking, but Gecko thinks it relates to implementing Doug Jennings Park facilities, ongoing rehabilitation of Federation Walk, a small scale camping area on Wavebreak Island, a dive facility, better facilities for boaties and boardwalks.
The Council has committed $35million to widening Southport Bridge and improving traffic flow at the entrance to The Spit.
Gecko welcome community involvement in all campaigns and for The Spit you can inform us of anything you see happening there of concern. Of course we would also like to hear of good things happening there.Gecko will continue to advocate with the State Government for community involvement in the decisions regarding appropriate legislation to protect The Spit and the Master Plan, which at this stage appears to have bi-partisan support. Gecko also wants community involvement in the governance model, ongoing financing and lease arrangements in the commercial sector.