Ship Terminal Sembawang Wave Break Survey
We refer to the media conference held by Sembawang last Friday, in which they asserted that the Gold Coast community has revealed its great support for their Wave Break development in the Broadwater.
We include below, for your information, the survey questions and provide the following 4 point analysis. We would appreciate it if you would read this email to ensure you understand why this survey is meaningless and a disastrous blow to Sembawangıs project.
1. Paltry Response Rate
Only 990 people responded, despite full page advertisements in the GCB and intensive references for many weeks in both The Sun and the GCB.
There are approx 540,000 people on the Gold Coast. This means that 0.001% responded.
Important Note: Save Our Spit identified bias and privacy concerns. We therefore instructed our supporters NOT to complete the online survey, NOT to give personal details and to CALL Sembawang anonymously only. We do not believe any of these people were included in the survey outcome, perhaps because most of them left ıcommentsı only ı not responses to the questions asked.
Sembawang assert only 38 people responded negatively by telephone. This is simply not credible in our opinion, unless the above reason applies.
The survey was conducted by Sembawang PR company Pro Media using survey monkey and telephone.
The question put with respect to the ship terminal was as follows: Would you like the Gold Coast to house the necessary infrastructure to tap into the international cruise ship and superyacht markets, at no cost to the local community?
This rather meaningless question does NOT ask if people want a ship terminal at Wavebreak or in the Broadwater or any other location.
Further euphemisms such as 'tap into' could mean anything, it refers to 'housing the necessary infrastructure' rather than mentioning a 'terminal' at all, bundles the negative ship industry with the positive superyacht industry (albeit these are two quite different market segments with different requirements) and states ıat no costı in such a way that people who oppose the terminal for any cost reason - social economic or environmental ı may respond YES. The suggestion that there is "no cost" is inaccurate.
In other words, the question is potentially confusing and designed to elicit a YES from both sides of the debate.
3..1 Sembawang boast quote "massive community support" and claim that 75% of respondents support the project and that this 'level of participation would be considered credible for a major infrastructure project on the Gold Coast'.
Credible by whom - Sembawang's PR consultant? The fact is it is not a only 745 people supposedly 'support' the project. Or 0.015% of 540,000.
Our supporters, who far outnumber 745, are totally opposed.
3.2 Sembawang also claim that 52,000 'hits' or 3001 visits to their webpage suggests great support.
This is not 'great support'. See No support for Sembawang Proposal for a detailed IT explanation and example.
For the record, www.saveourspit.com elicits well over (in multiples) 52,000 hits and 3000 visits every month. We got more traffic last weekend. Our latest youtube video attained over 5000 views this weekend ALONE.
3.3 If the GCB is accurate, then Sembawang have a history of making self-serving statements on this project.
Their CEO has claimed (inter alia) that the Broadwater is a 'wasteland', that there are no decent 5 star hotels on the Gold Coast and that it is somehow 'evil' for other 'dark forces' (query casino operators) to oppose the development to support their own commercial interests. He has also stated that without 'community support' they would not pursue the project. The CEO now claims, in attempting to backpedal from that promise, that the survey results constitute overwhelming 'community support'.
Conclusion: The response is abysmal and does not constitute 'community support' at all - particularly given the substantial positive press given the project, apparent support from the Premier, the mayor's (apparent) endorsement at a recent Young Professionals gathering, extensive media promotion of the survey and the project, and the fact that SOSA people effectively boycotted it.
4. So what IS the community view?
Save our Spit has thousands of members via our website, youtube followers and almost 2000 people (growing rapidly daily) on facebook. See www.facebook.com/SaveOurSpit.
We wish to assure the government, our politicians and local councillors that ALL of our supporters are opposed 100% to the Wave Break development and ANY ship terminal or similar development proposal in the Broadwater or on The Spit.
We repeat our earlier remark - No government, at any level, can justify the destruction of multi-million dollar industries such as surfing and diving at The Spit/Broadwater, or the recreational values embodied in those places, for the paltry returns and enormous costs - social, economic and environmental - of a ship terminal.
Our city has many issues at the moment; and a ship terminal is a grand distraction from all of them.
We would appreciate your confirmation of receipt and response to this email at your earliest convenience. Our supporters would also like to know where each councilor stands on the issue of a ship terminal in the Broadwater or on The Spit.
With kind regards,
SEMBAWANG SURVEY QUESTIONS (c) Sembawang
3. Contact detail (phone or email)
4. Have you previously ever visited the existing manmade Wavebreak Island? YES OR NO
5. As part of the Wavebreak proposal, the proponents will provide 'dry access' via a new bridge at Wavebreak Island. Would you visit the 37 hectare parkland and beach if this linkage was created? YES OR NO
6. As part of the Wave Break proposal, the proponents will provide a 'Fisherman's Wharf' style precinct where it may be possible to purchase and enjoy fresh seafood. Would you visit Fisherman's Wharf if it was created? YES OR NO
7. Would you support the development of a maritime training and education facility on the Broadwater? YES OR NO
8. The development and construction of Wave Break will generate approximately 18.848 full time equivalent positions. How important is employment in the construction and devekiopment industries for the Gold Coast's economy? VERY IMP, IMP, UNCERTAIN, UNIMPORTANT, COMPLETELY UNIMP
9. Wavebreak will create approximately 25,665 full time equivalent positions in tourism, retail, education and marine industries by 2031. How important is ongoing employment opportunities for the Gold Coast economy? VERY IMP, IMP, UNCERTAIN, UNIMPORTANT, COMPLETELY UNIMP
10. Would you like the Gold Coast to house the necessary infrastructure to tap into the international cruise ship and superyacht markets, at no cost to the local community? Yes OR NO
11. Would you like to see the Wavebreak proposal developed? YES OR NO OR UNCERTAIN
12. Do you have any further comments regarding the proposed Wavebreak development? [BOX FOR COMMENTS]