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.
Loss of parks/recreation
- Loss forever of 75ha of public owned open space areas, parks, foreshores, beaches and/or waterways and the immense beauty and relaxation these places give us.
- Loss of recreational opportunities and space for our growing population for fishing, diving, surfing, kayaking, boating, walking and picnicking in parklands etc
- Loss of premiere surf breaks and dive locations unlike any other in Australia, the associated social and recreational value, as well as tens of millions in proven income to the city (Value of waves report by Dr Neil Lazarow 2008)
Losses to existing businesses
- Damage or loss of existing businesses that rely on the clean waterways and open spaces- diving, surfing, boating, whale watching, fishing, kayaking and more. Current income from recreational fishing and tourism is worth $110 million pa; recreational boating – $200 million pa; inshore diving – $20m and surfing- $233m (GCCC Report 2006) totalling $5.6 million pa
- Compare this with an estimated income from 30 cruise ships p.a. of 3000 passengers (30% stay on board) with avg. passenger spend of $75 per person, which equals $150,000 per ship visit; or $4.6-$6.5 m pa (Midwood Report 2012)
- Loss of jobs in existing businesses will be severe. It is highly likely that which ever company is given the contract, unless Gecko/SOSA stops this proposal, they will use their labour.
Costs to taxpayers
- Costs of rebuilding the Seaway and possibly the initial dredging, to accommodate the ships over 300m long and over 22 storeys high. ($150m in Qld. Govt. IAS 2005)
- Possible costs of endless dredging to keep the channel and swing basin open to huge ships.
- Costs of maintenance of dock facilities/operating costs $8m pa partially offset by charging passengers $20 per head port fee. Port fees deter cruise companies from using the port. (Prof. Klein 2012)
- Costs associated with big increase in essential services such as police, fire and ambulance
- Massive local infrastructure expansion costs around the area – roads and utilities upgrades
- Safety issues of bringing ships through narrow passage in unfavourable winds, tides, currents, swells and channel depths. (Nav. Report 2004) Maritime insurers reluctant to cover vessels, no insurance = NO SHIPS!
- Safety of Broadwater and ocean users when huge ships enter and leave “port”. (ISPS code)
- Increased vulnerability to maritime accidents due to more frequent extreme weather events. (Govt. IAS 2005)
- Threats to the safety of small craft held at sea and unable to enter the Seaway for up to two hours while the cruise ship enters or leaves. (ISPS Code)
- Increased flood risk for upstream/ canal estates with increased tidal volume and flows (GCCC Reports 1998, 2003)
- Destabilization of the water table under Main Beach and Surfers Paradise. (Westham Dredge Report).
- Potential flooding of canal estates and damage to ageing revetment walls.
- Environmental damage to marine life from dredging, pollution and foreign organisms. (IAS 2005)
- Destruction of sea grass beds- marine life nurseries. (IAS 2005)
- Loss of migratory shore birds and habitat, protected under international treaties. (IAS 2005)
- Threatens endangered species such as turtles and dugong. (IAS 2005)
- Ships generate the equivalent air pollution of 12 -14,000 cars per day while in port. (Ocean Conservancy 2010)
- Increased crowds, commercial traffic, pollution in already congested city areas. (MB Traffic Survey 2006).