Please check our news articles starting from the home page for up to date info on the progress of the campaign.
No Balance In Beattie Bligh Proposal>>
Issues Information Actions>>
From Strength to Strength in the Save Our Spit Campaign>>
Who says what>>
Rallying the Troops for Community Cabinet>>
Time for Terminal Accountability>>
Gold Coast Cruise ship Terminal comments>>
No Approval Tick for Second Gold Coast Cruise Terminal Plan>>
No Balance In Beattie Bligh Proposal
Save Our Spit Alliance is taking the Government to task over its advertisement published in the GC Bulletin on Saturday 11th February 2006 and Gold Coast Sun 15th February 2006.
Steve Gration, President of SOSA, said "the Government’s idea of balance is obviously very different to that of the thousands of Gold Coasters who oppose the shipping terminal development on The Spit and we are pointing out some of the more obvious flaws in their argument. The current development scheme has the scales of balance heavily weighed in favour of the development industry and the Government fantasies about the financial benefits they suggest will spin off to the community." Steve continued "There is NO balance in losing massive public open space in the Marine Stadium and Doug Jennings Park, which is currently used extensively by thousands of locals, ourists and visitors."
There is NO balance in limiting and restricting access to the Seaway for fishermen, divers, surfers, boaties and their families.
There is NO balance in a terminal, docks, fuel dumps etc which will NOT improve the attractiveness and value of the area for the public.
There is NO balance in destroying proven profitable and sustainable tourist and recreational businesses for unsubstantiated "economic" benefits - 4.6 million per year refer GCMDP Initial Advice Statement 6.8.
There is NO balance in overriding the Gold Coast City Council Planning Scheme, which was formed after extensive community input i.e. no development north of Sea World Nara - Gold Coast Planning Scheme - Part 6, Division 2, Local Area Plans Chapter 26 The Spit (Gold Coast Harbour) Precinct 2 The Seaway Park.
There is NO balance in completely ignoring the decision of GCCC Meeting 8th August 2003 - Gold Coast Harbour Vision 2020 Project, which recommends no commercial or private development of the remaining open areas of The Spit.
There is NO balance when the Government is not concerned about the effect on amenity and lifestyle for local residents e.g more traffic, air, water and noise pollution.
There is NO balance when nuclear powered military vessels possibly carrying nuclear weapons could dock in close proximity to residential areas.
There is NO balance in exposing our prized Gold Coast beaches to the risk of a Gladstone style oil spill. The fast moving tidal currents of the Seaway would see oil spread swiftly from any marine accident. If it happened there, it can happen here.
There is NO balance putting canal residential properties at a greater flood risk by dredging to accommodate large ships. Higher flood levels would be disastrous for homeowners across the Gold Coast. Refer Gold Coast Sun article 17 July 2002 Page 16: "initial consultants report advises that the two Seaway proposals under consideration, one with a breakwater, one without, would cause substantial major flood damage."
There is NO balance in the safety risk for returning boats and small craft that have to hold their position in the open sea when commercial or military vessels cause the closure of the Seaway to navigation.
There is NO balance in destroying the best city dive site in Australia and possibly the world.
There is NO balance in creating a conflict between the activities of surfers, divers and boaties with commercial and military vessels.
There is NO balance in using flawed methodology in the Navigational Study. The seaway tides are known to run to six knots not 1.3 knots and safety figures should not be averaged. Refer: preliminary report of ship simulations Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal Qld. Aust., Qld. Govt. document, December 2004.
There is NO balance between the paltry "$4.6 million" per year the Queensland Government predicts will come from a Gold Coast shipping terminal and the closure of the dive industry, a downturn in recreational, commercial and tourist fishing/surfing/boating visitors and the subsequent loss of hundreds of millions of dollars that these activities bring to the Gold Coast. The risk associated with oil spills and large vessel pollution is unacceptable and a liability for Gold Coast tourism as a whole.
Rita Mahon, Nerang Community Association spokesperson stated "We surf, we fish, we dive, we walk, we picnic, we enjoy The Spit - a commercial development takes away the ability to enjoy the beauty and amenity of this unique area under the guise of 'much needed tourism infrastructure' - that doesn't add up! What about a monorail (or light rail) connection from Southport to Nerang Rail Station to provide efficient public transport from Brisbane and the Brisbane terminal? - now that adds up!"
"Superyacht facilities and associated tourism facilities can all be built South of Seaworld Nara - now that adds up!" said Laird Marshall, SOSA Treasurer. Laird added 'Why doesn’t the Government ask the Gold Coast community what infrastructure it wants and needs. We can assure them it is not a shipping terminal.'
Steve Gration speaking also on behalf of the Main Beach Progress Association said "Our two local Councillors Susie Douglas and Dawn Crichlow have both stood up and publicly spoken against the Government proposal for a shipping terminal and we should also remember the words of the most pro-development Qld Minister the state has seen - Russ Hinze - he said "I would quit rather than sell The Spit" and he said it for good reasons because he was familiar with the area and understood the future needs of the community." Page 7 Gold Coast Bulletin 12th May 1987
The Save Our Spit Alliance is about conserving the limited coastal open space left on the Gold Coast and Peter Low, Secretary of SOSA said "It is all about Save The Spit, Save Wavebreak, Save Seaway Beach, Save Marine Stadium, Save our Ocean beaches and protecting our quality of life.
Lois Levy, Gecko’s SOSA representative urged all Gold Coasters to "Join the community movement against a Shipping Terminal. We started giving the Government our views in April 2005 and at that time and since, our input was apparently NOT 'sought or welcome' but they are hearing from us now and will continue to do so."
Save our Spit Alliance:- Atlantis Scuba, Bicycle Gold Coast, Devocean Dive, Gecko, Friends of Federation Walk, Gold Coast Dive Centre, Gold Coast Kayaking, Ian Banks Diving, Main Beach Progress Association, Nerang Community Association, Sunfish, Surfers Against Ships, Surfrider Foundation
Issues Information Actions
The Beattie Government Marina Project proposal was announced on 15th September.
This proposal is a major industrial/ commercial development on the Spit.
The Process: Government has now formally called for expressions of interest from the development industry.
In November the Initial Advice Statement and the Terms of Reference, i.e. the criteria, for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) were made public and the community will have until 28th November to comment on these. Once these are finalised an environmental impact assessment will take place and eventually go on public display for comment some time in 2006. It will also be referred to the Federal Government Department of Environment for assessment under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act.
At this stage it appears the EIA will be about the concept of the marine project, but not about a specific development proposal.
Major Objections and Concerns-Save Our Spit:
From Strength to Strength in the Save Our Spit Campaign5-Oct-05
Recent media reports that the cruise liner terminal for the Gold Coast Spit was a done deal are inaccurate and a gross exaggeration of the real situation.
A public meeting to reveal the current situation on this issue will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday 18th October at the Albert Waterways Hall, Sunshine Boulevard, Broadbeach
Steve Gration, from Main beach Progress Association stated " This public meeting will provide Save Our Spit campaign supporters with up to date information about the Government position and the positive progress of campaign."
Dive company owner Shona Pinkerton added "The Save Our Spit Alliance would like to assure all its supporters that the campaign has grown in strength and determination as a result of the misinformation which appeared in some media recently"
This proposal to take away substantial public open space in Doug Jennings Park and the western inlet of the Spit has angered the community that Government is overriding their wishes without any consultation.
Rita Mahon, Nerang Community Association stated that " The public announcement by the Government to proceed with this proposal has made the public recognise that the threat is real and they need to be more determined to save not only this public open space under threat but any park and reserve in the city which will be fair game for a developer with a "good idea"."
The SOS Alliance urges all concerned Gold Coasters to come along to the meeting to make their voice heard and to join the Save Our Spit association being formed that night. The Alliance is a remarkable coalition of community, business and individuals who have come together from across the city to fight for their public open space and recreational use of the Spit and Broadwater.
Lois Levy, Gecko spokesperson urged Gold Coasters to come along saying "Exceptional underwater footage of the diversity of marine creatures living in the Seaway will be shown to demonstrate the treasure we have in our backyard, which will be destroyed by a cruise liner terminal. The marine diversity of the Broadwater and the Seaway is worth millions of dollars to the dive and fishing industries and could be lost to the unproven and rubbery figures of "profits" from the cruise liner industry."
Steve Gration: Main Beach Progress Association.
Shona Pinkerton: 55 710 320; mobile 0408 460 655 Devocean Dive
Rita Mahon: 55 96 1874; 0407 021 012 Nerang Community Association
Lois Levy: 55 34 1412; 0412 724 222 Gecko- Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council Inc.
Who says whatBlue GCCC
Save our Spit Gold Coast Bulletin February 2 1968Protest Public Meeting Opposes Main Beach Mineral Trucks Protest Public Meeting convened by the Main Beach Chamber of Commerce, strongly opposed a proposal to transport mineral sands by barge to a jetty on the Southport Spit (approved by GCCC). ..that industry should not be allowed to mar the beauty and tourist potential of the Southport Spit….the Surfers Paradise -Main Beach Council representative Ald Jock McIllwain told the meeting "The Mayor (Bruce Small) myself and other Alderman are not happy to see desecration of the Spit" …Mayor had a plan for the development of the Spit and Broadwater to return $3m profit to the Council and $250.000 annually in rates.." motion "we, therefore oppose most strongly the attempt to establish this mineral sands depot at the Spit and the running of heavily laden trucks through any part of Main Beach"
Press Release February 1983 "I have stated on a number of occasions and recommended to the Government and the authority (Gold Coast Waterways Authority) that they take into consideration and set down as a matter of policy that the Southport Spit, with its long surf and still water beach frontages, sand dunes, boating facilities, exhibitions, restaurants and fun parks, is an area where the traditional family can have an outing and enjoy themselves away from the hurly burly and business tourist areas and this is the way it must be maintained" Doug Jennings, Member for Southport
Gold Coast Bulletin April 1986$590,000 to be spent on Spit Parkland..the resort (Sheraton Mirage) is providing $590,000 for the park beautification and will maintain the grounds… Ald Lester Hughes "the magnificent site between the ocean and the Broadwater can never be repeated"
Gold Coast Bulletin May 12 1987Russ Hinze "I'll quit rather than sell the Spit"…"the spit was one of the most controversial and sensitive areas in Queensland"…I hold very strongly that there is to be no more development on the Spit"…he rejected the idea of rezoning and selling land to pay for works associated with the stabilization of the former Southport Bar…Queensland should carry the debt….
Gold Coast Bulletin June 19 1987Fragile Spit prime real estate…suddenly everyone wants to "save" the Southport Spit because of its fragility…all three (Labour, Liberal and National Party) candidates for the Southport by election, have all promised no development north of Seaworld and a careful revue of development south of the sea park.
Gold Coast Bulletin 17 May 1988Memorial Park is only the beginning…..The northern end of The Spit could become one of south-east Queensland's most attractive recreation areas says Premier Mike Ahern. Mr Ahern was at the Spit on Saturday to dedicate parkland in memory of the late Member fro Southport Doug Jennings, who died last year. He said the entrance to Doug Jennings Park was only the beginning and would be followed by a high embankment around the eastern boundary to provide spectator seating for a central activities area where displays, festivals, sporting functions, school events and functions would be staged……Land next to the central area would be planted with native trees and shrubs. Driveways, walking trails and public amenities would be built………………
Gold Coast Bulletin November 18 1994Split on Spit …The Minister (David Hamill) …has laid the ghosts of grand foreshore development to rest…..GCCC long term strategy for the Broadwater and its shores is summed up in its Town Plan "The Broadwater and open space areas along its foreshores are among the city's most important recreational resources, both from a local and tourist viewpoint. The Council will seek to improve the management of the Broadwater and control its developments so that its natural character is not degraded by levels of activity which exceed its environmental capacity"
Gold Coast Sun July 19th 2000Spit Deal Likely…..A deal between the State Government, Kombumerri people and private enterprise could see a Cultural centre built on the spit. Grice calls for answers.
Gold Coast Bulletin 12th July 2002Seaway Ship Shock….. A report prepared by Councils Economic, development and major developments division, identifies that cruise ships using the GC Seaway would cause at least $11.4 m damage to the Nerang river catchment. It identifies the Seaway has the favoured location only during very calm weather.
Weekend Bulletin 13-14 July 2002Council Chases Cruise answers…The city council will demand a "please explain" form the Qld Government when it forwards the $32,000 report assessing the logistics of developing a cruise ship terminal.
Sun 17th July 2002Report links cruise terminal to floods .. A terminal would wreak havoc during a flood causing some $11.4 million damage to residential properties. Economic data on the terminal indicated the cruise ships would only have a limited impact on the GC economy.
Rallying the Troops for Community Cabinet.
1pm Sunday July 10th.
Pacific Pines High School,
IT'S TIME FOR ACTION!
On Sunday 10th July Premier Beattie and his Ministers will be at the latest Gold Coast Community Cabinet and this is a great opportunity for all supporters of the Save Our Spit Alliance to come together and tell the Government we do not want to lose our public open spaces.
The SOS Alliance asks that you be there with a suitable placard to get the message across.
You can join in the event with your placard or you can support one of the delegations to the Premier and his Ministers.
We are seeking an appointment with Ministers:- The Premier- Peter Beattie; State Development- Tony McGrady; Environment- Desley Boyle: Tourism- Margaret Keech: Natural Resources-Stephan Robertson; Transport- Paul Lucas.
The Agenda for the day is as follows;
For more information and to offer your help
Time for Terminal Accountability
MEDIA RELEASE. 28.6.05
The Save Our Spit Alliance is sending out an urgent call to supporters to join together at the upcoming Community Cabinet at 1pm Sunday 19th July at Pacific Pines High School. The Alliance has been campaigning for months to get information from the Premier about his policy for a cruise liner terminal in the Seaway and Spit and see this as an excellent opportunity to get some answers.
Steve Gration, spokesperson for Main Beach Progress Association stated " The Premier and his Government have failed the transparency and accountability test by refusing to provide the community with any information about the proposed cruise liner terminal. It is time they were bought to account".
The SOS Alliance will form a delegation to see the Premier and all Cabinet Ministers who have matters in relation to the proposed cruise liner terminal in the Gold Coast Seaway and the Spit public reserves.
People power is needed to save the community's open spaces on the Spit and Broadwater from the massive development of a cruise liner terminal.
" The Premier needs to see that it is not just concerned groups who oppose the cruise liner development" said Lois Levy, Gecko campaigner, " It is the citizens of the Gold Coast who do not want to lose any of their public open spaces on the Spit or in the Broadwater for the benefit of a developer."
The environmental, social and economic impacts of the proposed cruise terminal are massive and will impact on the biodiversity of the Broadwater and its ability to support the recreational fishing industry and other businesses dependent on the health of the Broadwater ecology.
Residents and visitors who use the Spit and Broadwater for recreation and relaxation will have access to their public reserves severely restricted by development on these reserves and the security zone around the terminals.
Safety for boaties, swimmers and all water users will be compromised by the huge change in tidal flows in and out of the Seaway resulting from the dredging required to enable huge liners to enter the Seaway.
Rita Mahon, spokesperson for Nerang Community Association said " I ask the Premier to provide the community with a cost/ benefit analysis of his project, so the community can judge for itself. The continued secrecy is unnerving to the community"
All people who want to help save the Spit and Broadwater should contact Gecko for information on the delegation to the Community Cabinet.
Contact: Lois Levy - Gecko-0412 724 222
Gold Coast Cruise ship Terminal comments
To construct a Cruise ship terminal in the Southport Broadwater and develop waterways to allow access.
Works necessary -
Initially the Southport Broadwater was a natural bar entrance & was reconstructed with rock walls to the south of its original location. Wavebreak Island was constructed from the dredged spoil with rock ends to protect inshore properties from sea wave erosion. The purpose of the new bar was to allow safe entry for large vessels & sailing craft as well as safer and better access for smaller craft.
It took at least 5 years for the area to stabilize & natural benthic animals such as yabbies & seagrasses to start to colonise - The area still has not recovered to the extent of supporting seagrasses or fish populations.
Recreational use of the area -
The Southport Broadwater is already overcrowded with water craft & used by all types of recreational vessels. The area is a very popular fishing spot & since stabilization has been used by most of the fishing clubs from the NSW border to Caloundra.
It is estimated that over 200,000 anglers use the southern part of Moreton Bay with up to 250 boats in the Broadwater each weekend. They range from $2m cruisers to $1,000 tinnies.
Environmental effects - Previous dredging for the establishment of the Seaway has shown that the area takes years to stabilize & during that period the area is covered in silt which smothers the banks. Yabbies, soldier crabs, worms & seagrasses die & have to regenerate over years.
After 2 decades the area is again productive although the alteration to the whole habitat was disturbed. The "scum" created by dredging also stains the boat hulls with white fiberglass needing cutting & polishing to restore it.
Increased tidal flow due to deep dredging will scour the banks & may raise the water level in such a confined waterway. Constant use of tugs to maneuver large vessels into & within the swing basin will keep the suspended solids from settling. Large vessels will create a surge when entering or leaving port making water levels unpredictable.
The substrait is mainly mud below the sand & deep dredging will expose the mud, coffee rock, rock outcrops & break into the water table. Coffee rock is one of the major components of Lymbia toxic algae & the mud in this area is acid sulphate based.
Offshore reefs will be silted through the increased water flow from deeper channels.
Safety Concerns -
Loss of fishing grounds/access-
The Seaway entrance & Grand Channel up to Seaworld is a prime fishing area & will be restricted as an expanded navigation channel. Area in the swing basin will be restricted as well as any proximity to the terminal. During the entry or exit of any large vessel the channels will need to be cleared for safety reasons as their maneuverability is zero with tugs. The associated dredging will make the area within 1 kilometer of the Seaway & Seaworld unproductive & sterile - this is basically the whole of the Southport Broadwater. Silt carried out on the tide will affect adjacent reefs up to 2 kilometers offshore due to the deeper channel & water flow. The Seaway was created to provide a safe entry & exit to offshore waters - many of the good pelagic fisheries are within 2 kilometers of the shoreline.
Clean up -
Dredging creates "spoil" which has to be disposed of. This at present is a major problem especially when it will be mud & coffee rock which has to be "drained"of moisture & neutralized. Millions of cubic metres will be created & will need to be pumped or stored on site for removal creating an eyesore for normal tourists. The silt will take years to stabilize or disperse creating a brown tinge to previously clean beaches.
Road infrastructure -
Other issues - terrorists, restricted water space
Lessons learnt - modeling for tweed, sandbank reef & seaway.
No Approval Tick for Second Gold Coast Cruise Terminal Plan
Gecko - Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council Wednesday 27th April 2005
Community groups have come out against a second plan for the development of a cruise liner terminal and associated commercial precincts on the Spit and Broadwater.
The Save Our Spit Alliance, with representatives from diving, small business, fishing and boating groups and other members of the public, has reviewed the new plan and found it will have many negative impacts.
Lois Levy, spokesperson for the Save Our Spit Alliance stated, "This latest plan is really just a wish list of development and certainly does not get any ticks of approval by the SOS Alliance."
"The second plan suggests the terminal should be built in the southern Broadwater rather than the Seaway and is more forthcoming about the detail of the commercial development associated with the terminal," she said.
The losses to the community associated with this plan include:
"This plan suggests the taxpayer should fork out millions to support private commercial development, as well as lose prime public recreational areas on the Spit and in the Broadwater," said Lois Levy of Gecko, member of the SOS Alliance.
"The community opposition to both cruise liner terminal proposals will be clearly stated when the SOS Alliance delegates meet with Dr Leo Keleher, Director-General of the Premiers Department on April 29th," said Ms Levy.
The SOS. Alliance will be providing the government with feedback from public meetings and a list of community concerns and expectations and will be seeking an assurance from the government that each of these concerns will be fully addressed before a decision is made.
For further information, ring: Lois Levy, Public Relations - 5534-3706 or 0411-714-111
Rita Mahon - 5596-1874 or 0407-011-011
Gecko, 139 Duringan Street, Currumbin 4223, Ph: 5534-1412; Fax: 5534-1401
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