by Jeni Bone
The Gold Coast cruise ship terminal is one step closer after the Queensland Government revealed more about the $5 billion plan for Queensland's biggest development on the Spit and Wavebreak Island.
Gold Coast Broadwater
It's a project that has been discussed, debated and on and off the table for as long as the Gold Coast has been in business - some locals remember talks of a cruise ship terminal back in the 70s, and certainly in the Beattie era, 1998-2007, the debate ruled the newspapers and talk radio.
The Broadwater Marine Project is a joint initiative of the Queensland Government and Council of the City of Gold Coast (Council), seeking private sector investment to deliver what could be the largest piece of integrated tourism infrastructure developed in Queensland's history.
But this week, ASF China Property Consortium was announced as the preferred developer of the Broadwater Marine Project, with designs showing a cruise ship terminal just inside the Seaway and an expanded Wavebreak Island with a 50-storey tower, low-rise residential buildings and several bridges to Southport.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, said the controversial project had not yet 'ticked all the boxes for the taxpayers of Queensland’’ and had to overcome 'significant challenges’’.
He also would not guarantee a new casino licence for the project, something that is seen as key to funding ongoing dredging of the Seaway.
Mr Seeney said it was up to the Gold Coast City Council and ASF to drive the project forward.
'The ASF consortium and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate are now free to work together to address a number of outstanding issues highlighted during the assessment process, including the need for extensive community consultation, environmental studies and infrastructure planning,’’ he said.
'The State Government understands the potential economic benefits a cruise ship terminal could deliver to the Gold Coast. We will continue to make state land available, should the issues identified by this assessment be adequately addressed by council and the possible proponent.’’
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, who promised a terminal during his election campaign two years ago, said the project was one step closer. The Mayor said a 2013 study showed the City’s civic projects, including an integrated resort development, would provide 36,000 jobs and inject at least $750 million into the local economy.
'If the project gains community support and comes to fruition, let’s ensure every one of those local jobs is achieved,' he said.'This will be the biggest project to be undertaken in the history of Queensland and if it is environmentally okay to go ahead then this will be a monumental win for the local economy.'
The design may well change, depending on the environmental, planning and dredging challenges. As part of the conditions, the cruise ship terminal must be built first and the project team say it definitely can be done before the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Mr Seeney said that a licence for a proposed casino in the development would be conditional on the establishment and the ongoing operation of a successful cruise ship terminal.
In a letter to Cr Tate, he also ruled out the issuing of a temporary casino licence at the terminal.
Broadwater Marine Project
The Broadwater Marine Project seeks delivery of a cruise ship terminal on State Government-owned land on The Spit or on Wave Break Island in the Broadwater.
In addition to the terminal, the potential multi-billion dollar integrated tourism project could include hotel, casino, marina and super yacht facilities, retail, entertainment, hospitality, community open space, recreation facilities and a mix of residential (types and tenure).
A Gold Coast cruise ship terminal and associated tourism infrastructure have the potential to boost tourist visitation, increasing expenditure into the state and local economies and creating jobs.
On 10 July 2013 the Queensland Government released a Request for Detailed Proposals (RFDP) to the shortlisted proponents. Two of the four Shortlisted Proponents submitted Detailed Proposals which were evaluated by Queensland Government and City senior executive officers.
On 13 February 2014 the Queensland Government announced that the RFDP process was complete and that ASF China Property Consortium's Detailed Proposal had demonstrated a cruise ship terminal was a possibility and required further development if State land is to be made available for the development.
ASF China Property Consortium comprises ASF Group, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), Guangzhou Dredging co Ltd (GDC) and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC).
ASF and Council will now conduct preliminary environmental studies, further technical investigations, and prepare for substantial community consultation.
More at www.broadwatermarineproject.com.au