On November 4th a major public rally was held at The Spit to provide an opportunity for community members to hear the reasons for Gecko and others opposition to the shipping terminal and associated development of hotels, condominiums, retail, casinos, marinas. Over 3000 people turned up on that day, the biggest rally on the Gold Coast since the 1980 one to stop development of the Currumbin Estuary. Those present were unanimous in their opposition to the give-away of their public open space for the benefit of a development company. The speeches were brilliant and special mention should be made of Ella, who was the voice of the future. The volunteers were untiring in their efforts. The petitions were filled and in fact the organisers ran out of petitions.
This rally is the beginning of what will be a prolonged campaign to persuade the Government and the Council that this proposal is not acceptable to the community.
Your continued support and ideas of how to progress the campaign are most welcome.
Please contact Gecko 5534 1412 or email office or president
Predictably the Government and the Council dismissed the rally as the voice of “rent a crowd”, though it never ceases to amaze us as to where they think it is possible to rent a crowd.
The development at all costs mentality rules both of these bodies.
Since then the Government and Gold Coast City Council have made a joint announcement about what they are calling the Broadwater Marine Project.
The Broadwater Marine Project (BMP) is “a joint initiative of the Queensland State Government and Gold Coast City Council that, in partnership with the private sector, could deliver what could be the largest piece of integrated tourism infrastructure developed in Queensland’s history.
The world class project would include delivery of a cruise ship terminal on State Government-owned land on the Spit or on Wave Break Island in the Broadwater.
In addition to the terminal, the multi –billion dollar integrated tourism facility could include hotels, a casino, super yacht facility, retail development restaurants, entertainment and hospitality venues, commercial and resident development, significant open community space and recreation facilities”.
It is noteworthy that in order to offset the community opposition they have included community space and recreational facilities; however they cannot offset the damage to the ecology of the Broadwater or the probability of pollution of land and air from the development land grab, or the fact that the shipping terminal is not financially viable or beneficial to the city without the development land grab.
Gecko has written to both Deputy Premier Seeney and the Mayor Tom Tate asking for more information about the Broadwater Marine Project and the terms of reference for the Expression of Interest for the BMP. The terms of reference will provide the public with information of what the developers will be permitted to do on Wave break Island or The Spit and what is expected from them in return for the use (give-away) of public open space. Also of interest is whether the terms of reference will cover the costs of these proposals or whether they will simply focus on the developers imagined benefits.
The terms of reference will also guide our campaign direction.
The proponents of this shipping terminal, the Leda Company, have called their proposal the Gold Coast Ocean Terminal.
However they have verbally requested the State Government to withdraw their Initial Advice State as they no longer wish to proceed.
We are waiting to hear that they have withdrawn with a written submission as required.
The company has not withdrawn its referral of the project to the Federal Government’s Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Unit (EPBC) for consideration of their project under that Act.
As a result Gecko and Save Our Southern Beaches have both made a submission to the EPBC unit requesting that the project be refused or at least declared a controlled action which would require an full environment impact assessment report.
Gecko will maintain a watching brief over this situation.