The one where the council and State Government joined forces for Gold Coast cruise terminal…

Community support runs deep against Australia’s largest public-private partnership. Image: Save Our Spit

The Gold Coast cruise terminal debate has heated up again with the Queensland Government calling for a multi-billion dollar development to be built on public land from north of Sea World to west of Wavebreak Island, adjacent to the Broadwater.

Set to consist of an integrated cruise ship terminal, casino, residential development and resort, the Broadwater Marine Project will be Australia’s largest public-private partnership and the nation’s largest tourism infrastructure development.

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate are set to make the announcement today ahead of Sunday’s anti-cruise terminal rally organised by community group, Save Our Spit.

“I think the timing is entirely provocative, but very consistent with Mr Tate’s pugilistic attitude to this whole issue,” Save Our Spit spokesperson Kate Mathews told e-Travel Blackboard.

“I think the Queensland Government has abrogated its public responsibility in setting proper and appropriate approaches to develop public open space.”

The rally is expected to attract thousands of people from the Gold Coast and beyond.

“There has been no consultation whatsoever in terms of the wholesale grand giveaway of public open space in the middle a most beautiful estuary,” Ms Mathews said.

“The public will not accept this. It may sound trite, but we will fight them for our beaches.

“It will backfire in the government’s face.”

Ms Mathews highlighted their support of further developing the cruise terminal in Brisbane with only 15 percent of the Brisbane on-shore excursion market currently captured by the Gold Coast.

“Put the money into the terminal in Brisbane, it’s a beautiful terminal and we will welcome them and make their stay in the Gold Coast a wonderful experience.

“Cruise ship passengers are welcome but not if it’s at the cost of one of our most beautiful assets.

“The cruise ship companies should be very cautious before they get caught up in this excess of governmental greed.”

Used solely as a transit port, the cruise terminal will be a mandatory part of the project and one of the first components built by 2015, two years ahead of the council’s proposed terminal project.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that the number of casinos, hotels, residential or entertainment developments within the project will be limitless with tenders expected from some of the world’s biggest and best developers, hoteliers and casino operators.

“We’ve already seen a number of the world’s leading developers and tourism groups express genuine interest in establishing a cruise ship terminal as part of a major tourism project,” Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“We would expect there could be significant international and national interest in major new infrastructure on the Gold Coast.”

A sufficient amount of public open space and waterfront access is required as part of the project with the land expected to be offered on a 99-year lease and the successful consortium responsible for covering all dredging costs, currently estimated at AUD$63 million initially and AUD$6.1 million per subsequent year.

See below documentary developed independently that gathers information from all sides of the debate.

Originally written by Natalie Aroyan for e-Travel Blackboard

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