Community concerns have prompted developers of the contentious five-billion dollar Broadwater Marine Project to release green space and landscape plans for the project.
Project Director of ASF Consortium Alan Fife released the plans which detail “the enhancement and expansion of community green space along The Spit, types and locations of parklands, waterfront access and details of a new eco-marine park”.
The plans for Wave Break Island include areas for community green space on the “new island community” proposed, along with an extension of the eastern shore and north beaches, new parks, and a waterfront promenade.
The plans for the new eco-marine park include re-vegetation and planting, simple board walks, bird hides, structures to provide educational opportunities, and an area between the current sand bars for additional anchoring of recreational boats.
“Landscape and community green space is a cornerstone to the ASF Consortium master plan,” said AECOMs Director of Urban Design Vaughan Davies.
President of the Save Our Spit campaign Dr Steven Gration, said the so-called enhancement of the Spit and Wave Break Islands would destroy existing, profitable industries.
“Within these plans there is a huge loss of public land and parks which are already economic drivers for the Gold Coast,” said Dr Gration.
“An independent report has shown boating, fishing, surfing, diving and picnicking on the land as it is are worth 4.16 billion dollars a year – these areas don’t need interference to make money.”
In a statement released last week, the ASF Consortium said it “confirmed its commitment to providing a feasible, viable and deliverable project that meets the Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast’s requirements of no risk and no cost, including delivery of a cruise ship terminal by the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Dr Gration said the proposed developments on Wave Break Island and The Spit were an environmental trade-off in order to secure a cruise ship terminal.
“The Broadwater Marine Project is supposed to be a cruise ship terminal which can rarely if ever have cruise visits because weather conditions, geographic conditions, safety and engineering costs and environmental risks won’t allow it,” he said.
“The solution was to trade off public land so the person who builds a money losing cruise ship terminal can benefit by using public parks and land. There is no benefit to the community.
“The Gold Coast has a marine life that is just as extraordinary and diverse as the Great Barrier Reef and dredging for cruise ships will destroy the diving industry here which is worth $30 million a year.
“The TOS surf break, worth $20 million a year, will be destroyed by dredging.
“The recreational boating industry on the Broadwater was worth $200 million in 2006, and with this proposal what was once public will be suddenly limited to canal estate, private marinas and apartments.”
Mr Fife said the ASF Consortium would be in line with governmental environmental requirements, and would not go ahead without community discussion.
“In addition to meeting project requirements of no cost and no risk, the consortium’s proposal will undergo rigorous environmental assessment and approval processes involving all levels of government. ASF Consortium will also undertake extensive community consultation,” said Mr Fife.
Dr Gration said ASF has made no real attempts to gauge community support for the project.
“They have surveyed 2800 people in a city of 575 000, and only by contacting people through land lines, which means a young person with a smart phone or tablet can’t be contacted,” he said.
“None of the questions the poll asks refer to the cruise ship terminal, they only ask ‘how did you hear about the project?’ It’s a news poll on how effective their advertising is.
“A poll is not a survey, it’s not a community consultation, it’s merely a tool for starting framing the terms of reference for a consultation.
“It’s going to produce no data that can be truly analysed or used than for any other purpose their propaganda activities.
“We are not anti-development, it just needs to be the right place and right kind of development.”