Dear Mr Tate
I am absolutely appalled by the re-emergence of the prospect of a cruise ship terminal on the Spit or in the Broadwater, particularly since the community gave such a clear vote against it last time it was considered.
I am especially disappointed in you Mr Mayor, who, as a former Civil Engineer, should have appreciated more than most that a river estuary, with its constantly shifting sands is not a sensible place to try and locate a deep water port.
There is no natural harbour and if such a project were to proceed it would require almost continuous dredging. Not only would this be very costly, no doubt charged to the local community, but it would also do immense damage to the water quality in the Broadwater. In turn this would adversely affect many of the water based activities enjoyed by both local residents and by the vast majority of visitors who find the Spit and the Broadwater a relative oasis of natural enjoyment in an increasingly urban world.
Having enjoyed a couple of cruises overseas I find it hard to understand how a cruise terminal on the Spit or in the Broadwater would either be an attraction for cruise passengers or be of benefit to the local community. Surfer's Paradise itself, formerly a prime family holiday destination, has few real attractions. There is no architecture of note, little in the way of cultural activities, and it has acquired a reputation as a rather sleazy location. The only beneficiaries I can envisage would be the developers of the required facilities.
Furthermore there is the myth that cruise passengers empty their wallets when they come ashore and this seems to form the basis of such a project. Some do but in our experience they are a minority.
As has been well documented during the previous successful campaign to prevent such an invasive development the many environmental problems it would create are serious. One obvious example is Waterways drive, which is already grid locked on most afternoons with traffic accessing Sea World, so access to Surfer's would be a major problem.
It is worth noting that some time ago California increased the distance from shore from 4 to 12 nautical miles at which any form of discharge from ships would be permitted. This action follows directly from the increase pollution experienced on the Californian coastline, attributed to an increase in cruise ship activity off the California coast. Just imagine the consequences of an accidental discharge from a cruise ship to the North of Surfer's Paradise when the wind is from the North East !!
I urge you and your colleagues to at least review the history of the previous attempts to spoil one of the Coast's major attractions, before you look seriously at any cruise ship proposal. If you don't you may expect a widespread, determined and forceful campaign to be mounted against your efforts.
Incidentally I had intended to vote for you because I liked many of the programmes you were contemplating. In the event when I saw your comments about a cruise ship terminal my vote went elsewhere.
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