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
he move to sell off 75.58ha of our natural heritage – the Broadwater – has begun.
Lois Levy, President of Gecko-Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council (Gecko) said “Those who think a cruise terminal is a great idea need to examine the recently released Expression of Interest document for what is called the Broadwater Marine Project. It will cause them to think again. This document outlines only too clearly that the cruise terminal is a minor part of a massive public land grab by the development industry.”
The Successful Public Rally:-
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.
The Gold Coast Mayor has stated that he has a mandate to provide the Gold Coast with a shipping terminal as the magic panacea to solve the city’s tourism woes with one or more casinos to pay the bills. I would dispute the mandate claim, but that is another story.
The real situation is that the shipping terminals are of dubious economic benefit to the city and will certainly cost us much.
In reality this proposal is a smokescreen for a land grab of our public open space by developers who would love to get their hands on cheap waterfront land for hotels, condominiums, marinas, commercial premises and casinos.
Gecko’s Position: Gecko opposes the construction of any of the cruise ship terminal options for the Gold Coast as currently proposed in the media. Reasons for this opposition are detailed below. Our objections are based on three principles which have guided Gecko’s advocacy since its foundation in 1989. These principles are:
The protection and conservation of the natural environment from inappropriate use.
The prevention of the alienation of public open space for private profit and use
The support of more ecologically sustainable businesses
What happened? State Government proposal in 2003 for a cruise ship terminal to be built on public open space at the Southport Spit.
What were some community concerns with the proposal?
Impact on established and abundant marine life and habitat in the Broadwater from extensive and ongoing major dredging
Loss of existing million dollar industries dependent on the Broadwater, including the surfing, boating, fishing, and diving industries, along with a world class dive site
Loss of an exceptional and popular recreational resource to the general community, including restricted access to public open space at Doug Jennings Park and the Seaway
Impact of ballast and foreign marine organisms introduced into the marine environment
Water and air pollution when ships are in port
Storm surge threats
What did Gecko do? Brought a wide cross section of the Gold Coast community together to coordinate the Save Our Spit (SOS) campaign, gathering around 30,000 signatures over 3 years which led to the eventual rejection of the proposal.
Ongoing issues: Resurrection of cruise ship and various other proposals for these treasured areas of public open space.