Council has continued to spend ratepayer funds on investigations into this proposal, despite strong community opposition to this proposal as well as all previous cruise ship proposals since 2003. The resultant reports are heavily redacted, especially information regarding financial and physical risks, information the community is entitled to know about!
The proposal was sent to the Co-ordinator General who declined to consider it until the Spit Master Plan process is complete in late 2019. However the MOU signed between the State Government and Gold Coast Council about the Spit Master Plan included clause 4.4 “The Master Planning process will consider the potential effects of the ocean side cruise terminal at Philip Park in relation to its built form, access arrangements, service layout and infrastructure requirements.” Clause 4.5 states that this inclusion in the Master Planning process does not “imply support for or opposition to, the proposal” by the State Government.
Gecko has objected, at every meeting of representatives of the Spit Master Planning process and by letter to Government, to the inclusion of this proposal in the discussions. However it seems the cooperation of Council in the Planning process is contingent on this discussion, so it has proceeded despite the fact that those involved in that discussion do not have sufficient information available to make informed decisions. The proposal puts all other aspects of the Master Plan at risk.
At every public consultation process the community has rejected the cruise terminal proposal and want Philip Park to remain as public open space.
For unknown reasons Council is now calling the proposal the ‘Port of Gold Coast’, which is quite ludicrous as it is still an open ocean beach.