Boating Industry views

  • Sep 10, 2006

Media event organised by the Save Our Spit Alliance at the Volunteer Marine Rescue South Port 6 September 2006
Transcript by Lee Shipley BayJournal

Steve Gration, SOSA:
You can see that there is a lot of interest in the retaining of the Marine Stadium for the use of all people no matter what their socio-economomic group may be, no matter what their interests may be-boating, fishing, walking the dog, families having picnics. It is protected from the winds-no matter what direction.

I would like to welcome all of our VIPs that are here people who have shown a strong interest in retaining the northern end of the Spit for public use. In particular I would like to thank those candidates and politicians who have stepped up to the plate to listen to the people and the media will have a chance to talk with them in a minute.

But I would also like to thank Barry Hibberd for coming down from the Boating Industry Association. It is really important that we hear his point of view because they have taken such an interest in the state of Moreton Bay and particularly this end of it.

We also have Alan Rickard respected former Deputy Mayor and head of Finances of Gold Coast City Council. He served on the Gold Coast Harbour 2020 Vision Committee where all aspects of the community were consulted, business, architects, users were consulted to come up with a sustainable plan for this area of the Gold Coast.

It is important that we hear from him because he was involved in a plan that seems workable-and is a plan as opposed to the decisions that seem to being made with the political expediency of the election.

We want any process of any proposed developments to be transparent and honest process that all the public can see. We feel that we have been let down by this Labor Government. The decision to stop the ship terminal that should have been done months ago with the information they had was done at a politically expedient time rather than within the framework of an honest and transparent process.

....

Thanks to all the people who came down from Brisbane and other places in South East Queensland because it is not just Gold Coast people who use this wonderful ammenity.

(clapping)

Barry Hibberd, General Manager of the Boating Industry Association of Queensland:
"Bum's Bay to stay" that is our catchcry. It is fairly simple.We believe that this is a destination that has to be preserved for all boaties forever.

We believe that there are, talking to Kate, there are viable alternatives for Super Yacht facilities and a marina. We are very much in favour of marina development because throughout this state there are something like 2,000 people on marina waiting lists, we have net migration into the SE corner of something like 60,000 people a year. A lot of are like me: no hair, baby-boomer, all the rest and they want a slice of this lifestyle on the water. Where better than this beautiful place!

It is about jobs. Super Yachts create jobs, marinas create jobs. So I say again again "Bum's Bay to Stay"
(Clapping)
Alan Rickard:
I am driven in this because of the information I received during the time I was a councillor for the Gold Coast.

Despite anything that has been said about development in this area in the past, in 1998-99, the then State Government and the Gold Coast Council sponsored a firm call E.R.M. Miitchel to carry out indepth consultations on what the public would like to see in foreshore areas and on the Spit.

With regard to the Spit it came through very, very clearly-and this was part of the recommendations by the firm-- that there should be no development north of the Nara Resort or North of the Sheraton Mirage.

Public feeling on that was very strong. As a councillor I attended many of the meetings and I felt the venom directed to me because people felt that I was proposing develoments on the northern parts of the Spit,

In the 2020 study, it was facilitated by the Gold Coast Council but it included a whole raft of people, including people in the business sector.

The recommendations that came out of that committee, that were unanomously endorsed by the Gold Coast City Council on the 8th of August 2003. First recommendation was no development on the Spit or Seaworld Nara or Sheraton Mirage. There, of course, I am talking about commercial development because we all want to see that area enhanced. The Friends of Federation Walk are working to do this on a volunary basis.

There is a place for the Marine industry in our city. I wore another hat. I chaired our economic development committee and we realised what a wonderful thing the marine industry is for the Gold Coast.

The Super Yachts play a major role in industry and employment. There is land here for that. If you look south of Seaword there are six hectares that are available, you have water out to the quay line and if that can't accommodate that industry then the industry should have another look at what it is trying to facilitate.

We have an opportunity for a real win-win here. The wins are that we accommodate our Super Yacht industry and the revenue dollars. With the rental that could be achieved from that property we could go about rehabilitating that Spit area that urgently requires work. The revenue could be used as maintenance for that area and for our waterways that are seriously neglected.

So here we have a win-win for our Super Yacht industry and for our tourist industry. While we support our Super Yacht industry we don't want it to choke our tourist industry.

Was anyone down here last Tuesday and Wednesday when all of Brisbane was given a holiday so that they could go to the Show? If you had come down here you would have seen the place so congested because so many of those Brisbane people had decided to come to this area for their day off.

It shows how the infrastructure is really being stretched. What was a ten minute journey was an hour and a half because there was that much traffic down here.

It is all there for you to see. Let us take this opportunity.
(clapping)
Steve Graton called for Sunfish to talk but no one came forward.

Kate Mathews Hunt, SOSA:
I would just like to read a statement from Paul Burt, a well known fishing expert and personality on the Gold Coast. .....

"Personally, it would be a shame to see the Marine Stadium going to another tourism cum development that the Gold Coast does not need in that location.
"Growing up here on the Gold Coast, I have seen some major changes from the old days to now...
"While I understand that Gold Coast runs on tourism, we have to look after the locals that have to live and work here and bring their kids up here too. The Marine Stadium is where the people can bring their dogs for a run around, bring their kids to throw a line off the bank in a relaxed free waterway protected from the wind and wash. A place were people can take their boat...It is a haven in which locals to come and enjoy the very best of a family atmosphere which, unfortunately, on the Gold Coast, is being taken away from them over the past 20 years.
"You have to keep the Marine Stadium to go and enjoy why they live here. People don't live here for tourism, they don't live here for Surfers Paradise, people live here for the great opportunity to be in this lifestyle-the Marine Stadium type of lifestyle.
"We have easy access to mountains, and oceans and beautiful waterways-and that includes Marine Stadium. You can't take that away from the Gold Coast.
"I say no development north of Nara. Put the marina, super yacht berths and the related Customs, chandlery and other infrastructure generally required to support these boats, south of Nara close to the existing marinas and Main Beach. ...This will allow us to keep north of the Marine Stadium free for fishing boating walking-whatever we want to do in our spare time.
"I believe that I am speaking for the majority of people. Fishers, boaties and other recreational users of the stadium."
(clapping)
Steve Gration: ....as has been pointed out to me by the representative of the Friends of Federation Walk, Lynne Ryan, while we have the green behind the gold we have the green beside the gold to get people coming from Sydney and Melbourne. Why would people come to a completely built up environment when they have that in their home towns. They want to come to what we have here: a balance between the green the green beside the gold and the green behind the gold.

Media interviews with participants followed.

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