Government heeds message on Gold Coast Spit

Published Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 at 04:00 AM

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Jeff Seeney

Gold Coast residents and visitors will continue to enjoy access to Doug Jennings Park and state-owned land on the Southport Spit after the Queensland Government decided to rule out development of these areas as part of a possible cruise ship terminal.

Deputy Premier and the Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said in response to community concern, the State Government had announced that vacant land north of Sea World would not be made available to the ASF Consortium as part of its application for an integrated development licence.

“In response to feedback from the public and our own MPs, I will today communicate to both the Gold Coast City Council and the proponent our clear position on this area of state land,” Mr Seeney said.

“In February of this year we informed council and ASF that it was up to them to progress the proposed cruise ship terminal.

"Throughout this process the Government has repeatedly stated a number of conditions have to be met before the State could commit to the proposed project and before state land would be made available.

“These have included that state land would only be made available for development if ASF could demonstrate community support for the scale of development proposed at the Broadwater.

“The very clear message from all Gold Coast MPs is that the community does not support the development of Doug Jennings Park and wants The Spit retained as a recreational area. 

“We have heard their views and have acted on them.”

In April this year ASF conducted a survey of 2803 residents in relation to the proposed resort development, including a cruise ship terminal on the Broadwater.

This survey found a majority of Gold Coast residents were in favour of the project, but also highlighted a number of concerns the community has with the extent of development along The Spit.

“The key concerns from the Gold Coast residents were clear and included the environment, water access and recreational use and location of the cruise ship terminal,” Mr Seeney said.

“In May, the Gold Coast City Council considered the results of this community consultation and resolved to not support the development within Doug Jennings Park and noted that any further development along The Spit, north of Sea World, had met with strong community concern.

“In response to these concerns ASF updated its concept plan to re-locate the cruise ship terminal from The Spit to Wave Break Island.

“However, its plans still propose significant development on or around The Spit.”

Mr Seeney said the views of the community were important and the State Government would like to provide certainty to the proponent moving forward.

“We recognise that these areas are important to locals and our decision will ensure significant areas of public open space on The Spit can continue to be enjoyed by the community,” he said.

This week regional proponents involved in the State Government’s integrated resort development process, including ASF, will receive request for detailed proposal documents, which are due to be submitted to the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning later this year.

A decision on whether proponents will receive a resort licence and associated gaming licence is expected in early 2015.

[ENDS] 26 August 2014

Media Contacts: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754 or Elizabeth Spry 0418 928 744

N.B. Audio grabs at: