A shipping terminal for the Gold Coast is a land grab by developers for prime waterfront land that belongs to us all. The cruise ship idea is a cover for seizing our public open space for the construction of casinos, hotels, condominiums, marinas and private commercial premises. All of these could be built elsewhere in the city leaving the Broadwater for open space and recreation for our growing population.
The current situation is that the government has four contenders for the contract and the free public land and will decide on one of them in June. Three companies are foreign owned and one is Australian.
Today Gecko-Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council Inc ( Gecko) will send their petition to the State Government which opposes the Broadwater Marine Project for a cruise terminal and integrated resort development. The hard copy version of the petition has 6090 signatures and this, combined with the electronic Charge.Org version (3918 signatures) on the Save Our Spit website, brings the total number of Gold Coast opposed to the cruise ship development to over 10,000.
Lois Levy, Gecko’s Campaign Coordinator said “There is no way the State Government or Mayor Tate and his Council can pretend they have major support for the cruise terminal. 10,000 people who took the time to sign the petition is a lot of people and their opinion and concerns should not be ignored by the Government.” This reinforces the previous wave of public opposition to the earlier cruise ship terminal proposal in 2003. How many times are Gold Coast residents expected to defend their public open space from private development?
Opponents of a Cruise Ship Terminal proposed on our Southern Gold Coast Beaches are jubilant that Premier Campbell Newman has categorically ruled out this project going ahead and now call upon the Premier to be consistent by extending to ruling to protect public open space at The Spit and Wavebreak Island. This public land is valued at $818 million dollars yet the government intends to hand this over to developers.
The time for a decision on the fate of our public open space in the Broadwater is only weeks away. It is essential that we convince the State Government that we want to retain our 75 hectares of public open space on Wavebreak Island and The Spit and not lose it to resort developments, a casino and an uneconomically, environmentally destructive cruise terminal.
The campaign to stop the building of the cruise terminal in the Broadwater along with all the accompanying commercial development of the public open space on The Spit and Wavebreak Island has continued unabated during 2013 and is likely to reach a climax in early 2014.
LARGE cruise ships will be unable to dock at Townsville’s new $85 million cruise ship terminal because of safety concerns.
A media release from the Townsville Bulletin (6.4.2013) highlights several similar problems with their terminal that Gecko has raised about the issue of a cruise terminal in the Broadwater. Like Townsville the the Seaway and Broadwater channels are narrow and subject to variable winds, swell and tide flows making it a potential safety issue for the larger ships that the State Government and Council anticipate coming here.
Townsville Bulletin also notes that it may not be economical to “widen or deepen”the channel which mirrors the Broadwater concerns where figures of an initial dredging cost of $92 million followed by an annual cost of $6 million for dredging have already been revealed. No developer in their right mind will sign a contract to pay $6 million every year forever unless they think they can offload it onto ratepayers a few years down the track.
Gecko has been saying for years that cruise liner passengers do not spend up big in ports and the figures put out by the cruise industry themselves confirm this. Townsville Enterprise chief executive David Kippin said “they (cruise passengers) they don’t spend a lot of money,” As a result of these problems only 6 cruise ships are booked for a brand new terminal facility in Townsville compared to 40 for Cairns.
This article is a copy of a submission which I have been presenting to Gold Coast City Councillors at interviews with them over this week and the next couple of weeks. The submission was prompted by a remark made by Mayor Tom Tate, reported to me by Hot Tomato radio, that he did not intend to use the levy to purchase conservation land again this coming financial year and that he thought he might use it to pay the Council’s carbon tax instead. The city budget discussions will begin shortly and we wanted to be sure that Councillors were prepared with some facts about conservation open space before then and to encourage them to advocate for this expenditure in the budget.
Gecko has been an advocate for public open space, both conservation and recreational, since our foundation in 1989 and most of our major campaigns have been fought on preservation of public open space.
We are doubtful that it is legally permissible to
use money collected from ratepayers for a specific purpose on another council obligation. We hope that the arguments presented below will give you ammunition to use when talking to your Divisional Councillor. The submission reads:-
The Cruise Ship Terminal and its surrounding developments have yet again surfaced after numerous promises from governments of all colours assuring the people of the Gold Coast that there will never be a Cruise Ship Terminal on their beach/spit/broadwater. Dr Stephen Gration as spokesperson for Save Out Spit puts the case against.
IN August 2006 the Queensland Government abandoned their plans to build a cruise ship terminal (CST) inside the Gold Coast Seaway and Broadwater. The decision followed four years and $5 million spent on investigations and reports into the economic, environmental, engineering and tourism feasibility of the ‘Gold Coast Marine Development Project’.
The selloff of 75.58 ha of our natural heritage – the Broadwater – has begun. The Expression of Interest (EOI) for the construction of the cruise ship terminal and hotels, condominiums, retail, entertainment and a casino was released on 23rd November. This document invites developers to present their proposals for the Broadwater Marine Project to the State Government for consideration. The development- at- all-costs mentality rules this State and the needs of the population of the Gold Coast for a naturally beautiful open space counts for nothing.
Action: When you have read this article it is essential that you all contact your State Member of Parliament and your Councillors and tell them in no uncertain terms that we do not want the Broadwater Marine Project.
This petition about the proposed cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast draws the attention of the House to serious concerns about the environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts of a proposal for an onshore shipping terminal, hotels, casino, condominiums, marinas etc in the Broadwater and coastal areas as proposed by Gold Coast City Council Mayor and other development companies. Objections to these development proposals include – The handing over of public open space in the Broadwater and coastal areas for private benefit, the impact of massive dredging and construction on the marine/foreshore environment, loss of biodiversity, pollution, impact on south to north sand movements, the impact on existing diving, fishing, surfing and tourism businesses using coastal areas