A community alliance opposed to the development of a $2 billion integrated resort casino and cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast are confident that the validity of their arguments will be enough to persuade the Queensland Government to put a halt to the project.
Save Our Spit Alliance, a not-for profit community alliance of Gold Coast residents committed to preserving the Coast’s waterways and beaches, say the project proposed by AFS Group, a foreign investment company based in Australia, will cause large-scale environmental devastation. The group is calling for legislation to include the area around Wavebreak Island and The Spit in the Moreton Bay Marine Park Reserve. Representatives from the Alliance presented their case against the development on the state owned land at Main Beach to staff from the Premier’s Department.
According to Dr Steve Gration, Alliance’s president, original plans for the development in the Gold Coast Broadwater were modified by AFS, but objections from Save Our Spit remain valid, saying “All the State Government has asked is for ASF to resubmit a plan for a much smaller parcel of land than they first intended and to see whether those plans are in line with community expectations, desires, environmental ramifications and also with the current planning scheme.”
The likely target of the proposed development is the rapidly expanding Asian tourism market. ASF Group Chairman Min Yang said, “The integrated resort will include world-class entertainment, gaming, performing and visual arts, retail, hotel, unique leisure, cultural, residential and outdoor pursuits – creating an offering unlike any other on the Gold Coast.” According to Yang the project would make the Gold Coast an international tourist destination significantly boosting Queensland tourism and thousands of long-term jobs.
Save Our Spit Alliance maintains the importance of the preservation and upkeep of Wavebreak Island and the Gold Coast Broadwater which is home to marine mammals and many other threatened or endangered species, and contend that any perceived benefits of a cruise terminal are based on deficient technical data.
A detailed proposal for ASF’s 2016 development plans are expected to be submitted soon.