XCAT Farce Paradise Lost and more

  • Jul 13, 2015

XCAT

The proposed Xcat course poses critical and significant risk to the environment, marine life and public access to the Seaway, Northern Broadwater and eastern Wavebreak precincts during the four days of scheduled race practices and races 21-23 August 2015.

XCAT track on our Marine Park

"For what benefit? For the pleasure of boys with their big toys" in a totally inappropriate location?

And why the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) secrecy and lack of public consultation and notifications? To get the event so far down the track that retrospective permits have to be granted by State and Federal Governments? The same tactic used in the 'illegal' bulldozing of dunes at Northcliffe in 2012 requiring retrospective permits being granted to the GCCC from the then LNP State Government?

Gold Coast Sun 'Concerns Marine Life at Risk' July 8th 2015 Robyn Wuth

What has surprised even the most cynical of us is the brazen lack of due process or transparency including-:

  • No Federal Government or appropriate State Approvals sought
  • "The proponent first contacted Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) about the event June 30, 2015" the day following Save Our Spit and Media inquiries of the GCCC (Gold Coast Sun, July 8th Robyn Wuth)
  • Apparently the race-boat drafts require minimum 3 metre Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT) for hull clearance - which according to some regular Spit users rules out the Xcat location site selected for the race track.
  • Noise and lots of it, potential re-fuelling spillage or fuel/oil spillage from boats crashing.
  • Potential for high speed collisions and prop-strikes (200kmh) of protected marine species including dugong, dolphin, turtle and sea-horses.
  • Lack of access for many Spit, Seaway and northern Broadwater recreational users and passive tourism operators e.g. Whale Watching, dive industry, charter boating and fishing, sea-kayaking, stand-up paddling, sailing and surfers wishing to access TOS and Spit beaches.
  • inadequate and/or no consultation with key stakeholders apart from discussions and exclusive business arrangements with Southport Yacht Club and Seaworld.

Is this just another pear-shaped thought bubble from the Mayor which now needs a quick fix before it becomes another Mayoral lemon?

Paradise Lost - Wall Street Journal

You could have borrowed the following script from our news archives but it turns out that a large project in the Bahamas has failed miserably. This project has many parallels with the recent ASF China Consortium proposal for Wavebreak Island. In fact, two of the companies involved are the same major partners nominated by ASF for their Wavebreak proposal - have we dodged a bullet?

"The opening of Baha Mar, the $3.5 billion resort and casino project in the Bahamas, was supposed to be a showpiece that would help China's largest construction company win lucrative resort business across the U.S."

"Instead, a series of missed deadlines, a bankruptcy filing and bitter clashes with the developer over pay to imported Chinese workers are turning the flashy development for the global elite into a quagmire, one that could complicate China State Construction Engineering Corp.'s ability to win new business in the region and the U.S."

Read Paradise Lost Article from Wall St Journal

More Towers proposed for Spit

As SOSA predicted, the failed Wavebreak Island land grab would probably result in a tsunami of inappropriate 'replacements' developments by those who should know better. The question is will any local Federal Liberal MPs or local Qld. LNP MPs make a single public comment regarding their positions on the private push for the obliteration of the current 3-storey height levels and recreational/tourism land uses on lease-hold Crownland the southern Spit.

Attempts at More Towers For Spit

The proliferation of residential towers proposals to beat 'the world's highest building in Dubai' are also accompanied by clichéd descriptions such as 'global wonder,' 'architectural wonder,' 'long-awaited,' 'majestic', 'iconic' and a 'groundbreaking project'.

Would a developer publicly propose these plans if they have not already been given a 'nod and a wink' to proceed by certain government agencies, officers or elected officials?

Sunland rep Sahba Abedian accompanied the Mayor to China as reported by Shannon Wllloughby (now CEO of Study Gold Coast) ...

Excerpt of submission to QLD CMC 2013:

In Mid-November 2012, Mayor Tate travelled to Taiwan and China to 'sell the city'

Tony Hickey of Hickey Lawyers accompanied Tate, as apparently did Graham Staerk the lobbyist for Ridong, Leder Group and Pearls Global (India). Tate was also accompanied by Sahba Abedian and Tom Raptis, the sons of two Gold Coast developers Soheil Abedian and Jim Raptis who had recently declared bankruptcy and Darren Scott, GCCC Director of Economic Development. Tate was also:

Joined by property and migration lawyers, developers, education executives and real estate agents who are selling their products to a captive audience. Oh, and me, the official "stenographer".
(Shannon Wllloughby. GCB. November 15th 2012)

The December 2012 QANTAS In-flight magazine in an article 'Gold Coast City Guide' quoted the following:

Sunland, the father-and-son company of Soheil and Sahba Abedian responsible for developing Q1, formerly the world's tallest residential tower, at Surfers Paradise, and the elegant Palazzo Versace hotel, plan further developments on The Spit, perhaps including a boutique casino.
(QANTAS In-flight magazine, Dec. 2012)

LawJam: Planning Reform and the Community

Don't miss the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Qld's free community seminar in partnership with Gecko - Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council (Gecko). This 'LawJam' will critically review proposed new Queensland planning legislation from the perspective of good planning, community rights and the protection of ecology.

Moderator: Lois Levy, Campaign Coordinator, Gecko.

Speakers include:

  • Jo Bragg, CEO/Solicitor, EDO Qld;
  • James Coutts, Executive Director - Planning Services Division, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning;
  • Brian Feeney, retired town planner of the Gold Coast;
  • Professor Philip Follent, former Queensland Government Architect and Gold Coast City Architect.

Thursday, July 16 at 6:30pm
Robina Community Centre
196 Robina Town Centre Drive,
Robina 4226

Tickets and more info

Save Our Spit AGM

Monday 27th July 2015
Member registration 6:30 pm
Meeting - Business 7:00 - 8:30 pm
The Marble Bar (previously Ferry Road Tavern)
Upstairs, Ferry Road, Southport (opp. TSS)
Join in and celebrate our successes and prepare for the new challenges
Download our AGM Notice

For those with short memories – Tommy is apparently all green now

When Mayor Tom Tate came out of the blocks abusing so-called 'greenies' with comments like:

"the day of worrying about green frogs on the Gold Coast is over"

"they should change their name to stop our city and put a soc in it"
(directed towards SOS at a 'business breakfast' meeting 2012)

Gold Coast Surfer Mick Fanning"You can be the best surfer, diver, artist, I'm happy for you, but I will be listening to the people that matter ... It's more of an issue for high-profile people like the CEO of a cruise ship company ... they're the high-profile people I'm worried about ... Every Mick Fanning that comes out, I can find a high-profile surfer to say it's a fantastic idea."
Mayor Tom Tate [GCB 19-Sep-2012]

Mayor Tate to our Surfing Community on ABC 730~

"...I haven't seen the $20M claim...that that's what the break [TOS] bring[s] in... I thought surfing in that section was free? I just want to point out to the surfers there... umm there's 65 kms of beaches here on the Gold Coast...err... take your pick..."

This is the same Mayor who is now attempting to use PR Spin (at ratepayers expense) in the lead up to the 2016 GCCC elections, to give the appearance he is suddenly environmentally friendly. Well good luck on that one.

Beaches at Risk - Fix Our beaches

The ocean has claimed up to 8 metres of sand dunes on sections of Gold Coast beaches without any apparent effort to rebuild those dunes – surely caring for the environment is about action not lame media statements.

Check this video Erosion Problems on Gold Coast
(published Aug 1 2012)

There is less sand (sand hills/beach slope) and a missing shower in this location 3 years on! Yes the situation is actually worse yet we have had great conditions for rebuilding those sand dunes even with simple netting or replenishment techniques.

What would the Gold Coast look like now if citizens like Lois Levy had not spent their time and effort over decades protecting our most valuable assets and developers and their mates totally ran the city their way?

People do not come to the Gold Coast to see so called 'architectural wonders' on public parks, beaches or wildlife and marine habitat.

It is normal to care for your environment, you don't need a label, you don't need to buy a membership or attach a slogan to your credential; it's not an elite boy's club - you do it because you know it is morally and ethically the right thing to do, not because there is an election coming up and your pollsters tell you to appear 'more green'.

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