South Straddie: The castle made of sand

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Analysis

It's arguably the best beachbreak on the Gold Coast, a hollow sand-bottomed A-frame that's a swell magnet like no other. And it's got the scenery to match: to the north the beach vanishes into the distance empty except for wild casuarina growing on the dunes, and behind the dunes lays an expansive waterway. A trip over there can feel like a trip back in time, back to the Gold Coast of yore. Ignore the pipe and you can almost convince yourself it's an untouched natural habitat. How many eons has South Straddie been breaking with such incredible quality?

And yet the wave as we know it has only existed for a scratch over thirty years. South Straddie's blink of an existence isn't the only thing that surprises. This classic Australian wave is the unplanned byproduct of a project developed 15,000 kms away in a European university.

(Andrew Shield)

To understand how South Straddie came into being we have to jump back to 1962. That was the year the New South Wales government, without any consultation, increased the length of the Tweed River training walls. When they were first built in 1880, the training walls only extended mid-beach, which fixed the ever-shifting rivermouth to one spot yet still presented a navigation hazard when boats crossed the shallow bar. By extending the training walls out into the ocean the Tweed River bar was shifted offshore into deeper water.

The side-effect, however, was that the beaches of south-east Queensland, which begin just one kilometre to the north, were slowly starved of sand. The conveyor belt of sand that begins around the NSW mid-north coast slowly increasing in volume as the great northern rivers empty their sediment loads was being trapped behind the new southern wall of the Tweed River.

But all this was unknown at the time.

Responding to increasing beach erosion, the Queensland state government approached Delft Laboratories in the Netherlands to prepare a report on the state of Gold Coast beaches including recommendations to fix them. The 'Delft Report' was commissioned in 1964 and delivered in 1970. For a study that's almost fifty years old the report makes for fascinating reading. Almost every major project undertaken on the Gold Coast is mentioned in its pages: the rudiments of the Tweed River Sand Bypass System are there; the Palm Beach groynes; the Currumbin breakwalls; the Spit and the Seaway. One agency conceived of them all. Reading the Delft Report is akin to finding out the Illuminati is real.

In the report, a north to south recovery plan was drafted that would secure each section of coast before moving 'upstream' - i.e against the sand flow - and working on the next. This meant the Southport Seaway would be the first major project off the rank. Yet before any work could happen the 1972/73 cyclone season tore at the southern Gold Coast beaches and the long term plan was reduced to short term action. First Kirra groyne was built, then the Miles Street groyne, and after that a succession of stop gap measures on the southern Gold Coast took the focus away from the Seaway.

However, by the mid-80s Queensland's Bjelke-Peterson government needed to do something about the Southport Seaway. When the Delft Report was written the population of the Gold Coast was approximately 65,000 people, but by 1985 it had doubled to 130,000 and the northern suburbs were sprawling. The Gold Coasts's notorious 'white shoe brigade' - gaudy, middle-aged property developers - were divvying up the land abutting the Broadwater into premium waterfront properties and safe access to the Seaway was a selling point for cashed up buyers. When the white shoe brigade lent on Premier Bjelke-Petersen they met no resistance.

Local politics aside, the Seaway project had a second purpose: it would, as the Delft Report recommended, fix the northwards migration of the Nerang River. In 1840 the mouth of the Nerang River lay many kilometres to the south near Broadbeach, where the casino now stands. By 1927 it was where Sea World is currently located - the bar was shifting north at an alarming rate. The northwards flow of sand built up the southern side of the entrance - the lack of vegetation on the Spit testament to its reclamation from the sea - while the north side was continually eroded away. In the 1930s the township of Moondarewa on South Stradbroke Island was lost to the ever-shifting bar. When it was surveyed, Moondarewa was 500 metres from South Stradbroke's southern tip, yet before long it was surrounded by water and then lost altogether. The flooded town a reminder of how little settlers knew of coastal processes.

Moondarewa visible on the tip of South Stradboke Island. Built a distance from the southern edge of the island, two years after this photo was taken it was lost to the Seaway.

Greg Kenafake grew up in Labrador and by his own admission he "would've quit surfing a long time ago" if it wasn't for South Straddie. As a kid in the late-60s, Greg remembers standing on Straddie's southern tip and watching vegetation fall into the sea as currents ate into the leading edge of sand. "Right through the seventies and early eighties," says Greg, "I bore witness to the constant cycle of erosion and deposition which made the bar dangerous, yet beautiful."

Tony 'Doris' Eltherington was raised in nearby Southport, roughly opposite the Seaway. As a 10-year-old he'd paddle down Loders Creek, across the Broadwater and out through the bar where he'd hang a right and paddle a kilometre down the coast to Main Beach. "The Southport bar used to go out near where the Sea Cadets at the Spit are now, so it's moved north a lot in fifty years," says Doris. "The channels were always changing on the old bar. It was a treacherous stretch of water."

"On the south side of the bar there would be a left hander like Ulus or mini G'Land," recalls Doris. "It was a really good wave on east or southeast swells and northwest winds or glass. It broke way out to sea and on its day was all time."

Wayne McKewen is a state champion, national champion, and if it wasn't for one T. Curren he would've been the 1980 World Amateur Champion too. Wayne's a north end surfer who recalls the pre-construction era of Southport Bar. "I used to know the chippies that’d work at Bayview Harbour and they'd have their dumpy levels and would ring us up when the left would be on. You could go up there and look out straight across to this lefthander. We used to do surf checks from up there."

Greg Kenafake also used elevation to scope the bar. From the verandah of his parent's house at Labrador the whole bar was visible and he recalls days watching huge perfect rights peel off the outside of the bar. One day Greg borrowed his dad's binoculars and, says Greg, "I was stunned by the ridiculously perfect walls that were reeling off. It would have to have been eight to ten foot and doing an insane imitation of Jeffrey’s Bay. Today it would be slaughtered by tow-ins, but in the late seventies I may have been the only person to see it."

These before and after photos show how much the bar changed pre and post construction.

In 1984 construction work on the Southport Seaway began, yet unlike later Gold Coast projects such as Narrowneck Reef or the Tweed River Bypass System there was no consultation with surfers. Mild concern was registered in the pages of Tracks, yet unlike Kirra, the bar wasn't a noted break being fooled with. The fellas above can all attest to great waves breaking there, yet its status remained mythical. No-one fought to protect it. In fact, Greg Kenafake, who had some training in coastal processes even sensed good things were on the way.

The final design proposal for Southport Seaway. The new channel would be 700 metres south of the existing channel and the project would include the creation of Wavebreak Island.

Many designs were proposed for Southport Bar but the arrangement settled on had the new Seaway located 700 metres south of the existing entrance. Engineers had to dredge the sand and place a million tonnes of quarryed rock across two breakwalls. The breakwalls faced 15° north of east, the northern wall 150 metres shorter than the southern wall, and the sand that built up around the southern wall was sucked up by ten jets, then pumped under the Seaway and onto the beach at the other side. Many stakeholder groups were consulted but surfers weren't amongst them. However, despite the lack of input it could scarcely have been planned better.

"At first it it was wind protection from northerlies that we were most excited about," says Greg. The southern wall extends 600 metres offshore and provides respite from the seasonal winds that plague the Gold Coast through spring and early summer. The Seaway was already a win for North End surfers but there were many more surprises to come.

"Just prior to the breakthrough," says Greg. "when water flowed through the Seaway there was an incredible left hander that broke off the tip of the northern rock wall and back into the Seaway itself. Very few people surfed it and it only existed for a few weeks but it was the first real wave to be ridden on the Straddie side."

The Seaway under construction. North End groms used to scale the cyclone fence and roam the 'construction site' looking for new waves.

In May 1986 the project was finished and immediately Greg and Wayne, and others such as Thornton Fallander and Mark Bennetts began exploring around the bar as new currents formed and deposited sand in unexpected ways. By 1987 an excellent lefthander had formed inside the northern wall about 150 metres down from the tip. "It was an incredible dredging left," says Wayne McKewen. "A really serious wave that broke in cyclone swells or big east lows.

"Oh, it was mentally good," says Doris. "A radical drop that was super hollow and ran for a bit. Darren Hill, Brimmsy, and Wick Wack ripped the bag out of it." But the wave was limited. "Ebb tides only" says Doris with a laugh, "Otherwise you'd be sucked out the rivermouth. The current was outrageous."

The Seaway left was a design anomaly, a result of the entrance channel "finding equilibrium" according to Professor Rodger Tomlinson who did his PhD on the Seaway. The bank was at its best for the first 3 to 4 years and by the mid-90s it only broke in huge swells. Tropical Cyclone Violet in March 1995 was the wave's last stand, though we're geting a little ahead of the story.

Wayne McKewen slotted at the shortlived Seaway bank (Photo Luke Sorensen via LiQUiFY Magazine)

With one great wave already created the North End crew paddled and crawled over the northern breakwall to see what was happening on the other side. This area was the old channel so it took about 18 months for the sand to fill in the hole and create first a beach, then the banks. Meanwhile the outside bommie was being ridden on bigger swells.

Only ridable in clean south or southeast swells over six feet, the bommie isn't a rockshelf but a shallow bank of sand that builds up due to a mix of tidal flows out of the Seaway and natural longshore drift. It's a great wave in its own right but it's also one of the reasons the inner banks at South Straddie get so good: swell lines bend and wrap as they pass over the outside bommie then focus on the inside banks.

Although barely capping, this image of the bommie shows how the swell lines wrap around the shallow water before moving inside.

As the sand began to assemble on the northern side new waves formed then disappeared just as quick. "By early 1988 there was a great left breaking into the rock wall," says Greg. "Very soon this sorted itself out and the amazing right handers that still peel off the wall - which some fools call Kiddies Corner - began to fire." And all the while the sand pipe down the beach was incessantly spewing its sediment load into the hole.

Greg Kenafake places the first great Straddie sessions - the beach, not the Seaway - as happening in early 1989. "It took a while for the sand to sort itself, but on the right days the pipe would go berserk...it was a literally perfect, heavy, hollow peak." As the wave established itself, it dawned on the local crew that the wave off the pipe wasn't a fluke, that it was the end result of the Seaway engineering project. This meant the wave wasn't going to disappear the way the other waves had. Incredibly, these shallow water A-frame peaks were the new normal for South Stradbroke.

(Andrew Shield)

"Thank God Straddie happened in the 80s before iPhones and GoPros," says Greg while reminscing about early efforts to keep a lid on the place. "My friends and I would be getting ready in the carpark for a pre-dawn paddle and if we saw headlights approach we'd jump back in our car and hide. On many occasions guys got out, checked the situation and because nobody was around got back in their cars and drove away."

1989 to 1995 were the glory years for Straddie. "At first it was just the North End crew and the Main Beach crew," says Wayne. "We surfed it for about a year by ourselves and had so many good days. Maybe a dozen guys knew about it during that first winter. Then despite everyone's efforts the word sort of got out. First the Burleigh guys heard about it, so the next year the Burleigh guys were there too. Then by about the fourth year some photographers started coming over and more guys from the Coolangatta end were coming over."

The first time south Straddie was mentioned in the surf media was an oblique reference to the Seaway left in a 1988 issue of Australia's Surfing Life: "...the bottom end of South Straddie began to beat up the boys." Yet thankfully there was very little transmission in the years that followed. "It was before mobile phones so you could kinda control it," says Wayne McKewen. "We'd be over there telling people, 'Don't tell other people about it!'"

"Local radio stations were forbidden to include its mention in daily surf reports," says Greg. The media ban might've slowed the crowds but surfers, even against their better judgement, are fantastic networkers and the numbers inevitably grew.

A teenage Mick Fanning makes the journey from the other end of the coast during the pre-digital days (Andrew Shield)

Despite the growing crowds, South Straddie was still a mission to access. Unless you had a tinnie or knew someone who did, then you'd have to nut up for the 250 metre paddle across the Seaway, often in the dark with dangers present above and below the surface. "We would carry a little torch to wave at boats as they approached because getting run over in the dark was a real concern," says Greg. "Angry trawler men would run you down in the Seaway."

The North End crew did their bit to discourage visitors spreading rumours of a toothy local - Tommy the Tiger Shark - who lived at the northern breakwall, blue ringed octopus lurking amongst the rocks, and even stonefish with their poisonous barbs. By the late-90s cashed up Gold Coast surfers could dodge all those dangers with a simple twist of the throttle. In five minutes a jet ski can cross the Seaway and skirt the breakwall, and with the Broadwater accessible from many suburbs, all of a sudden many more people were within easy reach of Straddie. The numbers skyrocketed.

In more recent years a water taxi service has been established to ferry surfers across the Seaway for a fee. At first this created an instant pecking order as surfers seen coming off the ferry bore the brunt of drop ins. Far from being accidental, the interlopers were sending a not-so-subtle signal about effort and reward. The animosity has dwindled as the service established itself and even hardened locals (though not all!) occasionally opt for a seat across the Seaway.

As one local said: "Anyone who paddles the Seaway deserves to catch waves, anyone who catches the taxi should remember the above."

A contemporary scene at South Straddie with jets skis parked above the tide line (Andrew Shield)

It's been just over thirty years since the Southport Seaway was opened. In that time Kirra surfers have had to stare down proposals for a marina and a ship terminal, Big Groyne has been re-jigged, the Miles Street Groyne too, while millions of cubic metres of sand have been dumped on the southern beaches then just as quickly washed away, and the Superbank has come to life. All the while South Straddie has been steadily pumping out waves during every swell from the right direction.

Surfers are often slow to give bureaucats their due, and it's not without due reason, we've lost a few waves along the way, yet South Stradbroke is an example of where they got it right. The scientists and engineers who crafted the Delft Report created a project that not only imitates nature but, at least where surfers are concerned, improves it.

A number of people I spoke to believe it's possible to copy the blueprint for Straddie and apply it elsewhere to split up the crowds. Just as Straddie has the outside bar to bend the swell lines, so too would artificial reefs placed offshore from the Gold Coast's beaches refract swell into focus points. The reduction in swell energy hitting the beach would even create a salient - a small jutting bend in the shoreline - that would benefit beach nourishment.

However, that's a conversation for another day. Right now we'll leave the last word of this discussion to Greg Kenafake, they guy who's arguably surfed The Other Side more than anyone.

"Thank God for Straddie."

Comments

stan1972's picture
stan1972's picture
stan1972 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 11:44am

Thornton Fallander is the king of that castle. Some surfed it more but none surfed it better.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 12:31pm

Unreal story.

Thanks.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 1:33pm

Great article. Such fond memories.

Paddled the Seaway dozens of times and can relate to the trawler issue not to mention the thought of sharks. Early 90's and you could still surf that place during the week with little more than half a dozen others. Being a shift worker helped. One of my best surfs in my life was there and completely alone.

I used to snorkel along the south wall and collect snagged hooks, sinkers and swivels, lures too- didn't pay for tackle for years.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 3:51pm

Think we have had this conversation before, but i also use to do the snorkel along the south wall collecting sinkers, swivels and the odd lure, was an easy drift type snorkel with the tide, also spotted some huge manta rays down towards the deep.

Ignore button is ON for Crypto knight

(Really no point entering into any discussion with such a sad bitter abusive old man, so go ahead bait and abuse me all you like)

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 5:00pm

I reckon we would have crossed paths before Indo.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Pork Hunt's picture
Pork Hunt's picture
Pork Hunt commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 1:46pm

Thanks for the story. I always assumed South Straddie existed, as after moving to the Goldie for a year in 1990 and working at Seaworld this was my go to wave on small swell days. Guess I got lucky with the timing.
And yes those shark stories scared the shit out of me and that 250 metre paddle across the seaway could never end quick enough!

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 2:36pm

I remember once having to paddle back with a mate who had slipped on the rocks on the way down to the water's edge, only to have his progress halted by barnacles, and a sea urchin to the hand for good measure. He left a nice little trail as we paddled back over that black water. I made damn sure I stayed in front of him the whole time, no matter what.
My brother has photos of a decent bull shark that he hooked in the Seaway, and which dragged him in his tinnie into the Broadwater. He beached it where the campers are these days. They definitely exist

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 3:11pm

I cannot understand why an artificial reef in the style of Trestles hasn't been made at Collaroy. Win, win, win.

Win for the council and their beach staying where it is.
Win for the residents and their backyards.
Win for the Brazillians who can claim the new wave as theirs and let the Northy boys surf their own territory.

Billie

Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 8:59pm

Why bother for the amount of money they spend on these artificial reefs and sand replenish projects to have them washed away and needing the process repeated..
They can build wave pools and soon one like kellys.
The improvments in "add ons" he has slowly applied is sick...
Deeper flaring barrels and that section that collapes in front of him looked sick in the last vid...
Be funny hey Kelly might charge for add ons on your waves.
imagine ordering your wave..
I will have two air sections one 10second barrel and a close out section for a big blowtail.
That wave will be $28.50 sir would you like Fries with that..

Ah back to straddie.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 3:48pm

Great article i was a bit late to the party, I didn't surf it until 94 onwards but it's still probably my most favourite beachie anywhere atleast for that hollow peak style, for years i use to surf it whenever it was clean and not big enough for Burleigh or the Alley, had so many good surfs over there, i hated the water taxi never ever used it, it was always a good morning when it wasn't running.

The two best days I've ever had over there was one afternoon when it was crazy hot high 30's, pulled up and the car park was totally full from beach goers at the spit, expected it to be crowded but thought fark it paddled over with a mate and it was overhead at the pipe and only a dozen guys out, ended up surfing a bit past the pipe with two other guys, just getting perfect pit after pit for hours.

Although 99% of the time when i surfed it, it was early morning until lunch.

Another day was also an afternoon, not sure how or why we ended up there but it was solid and light SE bit crazy up the beach but in the corner was insane head high just perfect hollow rights more like a point break, just me and a mate for hours.

I kind of enjoyed the challenge or buzz of the paddle, it felt like an adventure and felt like you had earnt it, making sure you started from the right spot so not to end up in the bay or out to sea, then the scramble up the rocks on the other side when there was a bit of swell.

I think the sketchiest times were paddling early morning dodging trawlers as they use to say sharks followed the trawlers, or when those big blue jelly fish are thick and you are touching them almost every stroke, the only really time i shit myself though was coming back on dusk and some huge fish jump out of the water, i swear it was a sailfish or marlin, but don't expect they should be that far in.

Something just about the spot in itself is magic, it's like you are far away from anywhere but you are only km's from crazy surfers, it also has a kind of cozy feeling too being small up one end then getting bigger down the beach, it was always good when you were hung over to just work yourself up on some smaller ones before tackling down near the pipe or past it, also just such an easy barrel, if you can't get barrelled at straddle and come out you won't get barrelled anywhere just such a nice backdoor the peak or bottom turn stall in and out taper type barrel.

If only the gold coast wasn't so populated and crowded, imagine if it was somewhere like mid NSW coast far away from a big population.

Ignore button is ON for Crypto knight

(Really no point entering into any discussion with such a sad bitter abusive old man, so go ahead bait and abuse me all you like)

Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 9:11pm

Ah ha my indo stradbroke friend.. Seek and they might find..
Straddy is sick but there are a lot of spots south of Sydney just like that..
My lips are sealed.... Good luck you will need it or just a little common sense.

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 5:03pm

Surfed it many times from 89 - 2014. Never used the taxi. Just for the principle.
Back when there used to be a local surfshop corner of tedder and peak av the owner used to keep on the store wall TOS close encounters. For many months he had a yellow Pipedream that had been well and truly run over by a boat. Board broken but leggy still attached but no ankle strap. The owner was paddling back late arvo and the sun was in the boat drivers eyes. Boat was going flat stick and when the dude knew he was a goner he dived for the bottom only for the boat prop to tag his leggie just above the ankle strap.
So lucky. Boat didnt stop! There was an article in the GC Bully with a picture of the fella and a call out for the owner of the boat to come forward.
As far as sharks go Im sure there's plenty but I'd paddle across there a 1000 times with bleeding feet before I paddled across the canals behind surfers any day!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 5:11pm

First time I paddled over to Straddie, just as I got to the other side I let a small swell gently wash me into the training wall so I could clamber up and over. Seeing a flat topped boulder ahead, I put my hand out to slow myself against the surge, but it was covered in a thin layer of slime, which disguised dozens of razor sharp barnacles. Scored six thin slices across the palm of my hand. Ouch!

Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 6:06pm

Nice! I surfed that left inside the north wall the same year Damon Harvey rode the 2k wave at snapper.
We were out surfing straddie it was only small but grew rapidly while we were there.
We left as it got out of control climbing over the northside wall in line with the beach was that left inside the wall 6ft+and firing with only 3Guys out.
Ended up getting a couple of soild ones and then snapped my boards.
Paddling back on dark with just the tail of my board to float me and a out going tide.
Think that was around 2002-2005?
Was not a nice feeling.

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 7:23pm

Far out, all these comments bring back memories. I can relate to all of them, dodging trawlers early, the shark stories, getting smashed and cutting my chin open on my fins and having to paddle back with bloodied t-shirt, uncrowded midday sessions, sketchy rock hopping especially when there was swell pushing up the rocks, etc.

Spookypt - was that the pipedream shop? Had a few great boards from there including a brand new one that was snapped at straddie first surf. Memories....

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 9:57am

Yep Pipedream before it up'd stumps and moved up the beach end next to the old servo.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 7:46pm

What a great article Stu, well researched and it's a happy story to tell.
How about one of these at every river mouth in Oz?

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 8:20pm

Yeah great article Stu.
Those north end boys like to talk themselves up as pioneers but there are plenty of other crew who surfed it right through the construction and transition than them.
That left was super heavy and broke at an angle into the wall and was super ribby and choppy on the outgoing tide. Agreed the best surfers on that left were Wayne Mc and Rod Brims. I'd go as far to say that Brimmsy was one of the best goofyfooters to come out of the Goldie in 6-10ft lefts. I think he won an Aust junior amateur title one year at Margs when it was big and his G-Land surfing is some of the best I've seen.
I finished school in '88 and remember doing nothing but surf Straddie for the next couple of years in that glory, uncrowded period. Even much later you could catch the arvo or midday session with next to no one around.
Never surf it anymore due to the crowd and wanker factor, but some of the best memories in my whole surfing life are out there.
A special place for sure.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 8:26pm

Top shelf Stu! First rate Journalism + epic grass roots story telling.
From a locals perspective... that's one hell of a jaw dropping photo gallery

Again reminder of original 1877 Southport rockwall seaway then surfed often by getterz.

Stu's other Breakwater story also harbours complimentary exclusive 'original' Spit history.
Please enjoy your present day Seaway timeline,another exclusive to Swellnet readers.
No title...It just kicks in...
1970 Ski Land joins Marineland on' Spit 1972-changes to Seaworld in 1976 buys Marineland
1977 Marineland closes setting free some dolphins.(Pause) This Story still plays out today.
1978 Marineland >Birdlife Park >1979 Andalucia Park>1986 Koala Blue
1979 Laserama was way too far ahead of it's time.
1981 Great White Shark Expo( Vic Hislop).
1984 Midnight Oil Concert 17th/November on The Spit (D.J. Park). I think I saw you there.
1984-5 Birdman of the Broadwater Rally. Mega ramp/drop ... Massive Piss Up!
1985 Vessel christens New Seaway 15/November TOS Birthday [SN 1st] (Paddle or Die)
1986 Aquarium Trawler is first Seaway Shipwreck 1st/May. note:(M.Taylor) on Seaway Tower.
1987 (Seaworld Rescue Crew) +1988 Seaworld Nara Resort last build nearest to Seaway
1988 Mirage Hovercrafts & Cruises to Expo were also the last city- city daily water taxis.
1988 Swan Airship tethers to Whiteshoe Polo Arena.(DJ Park) re( Indy corporate highflyers)
Note: There were 2 Airships to land here for Indy. The other was based at Carrara.
1991 South Straddie Helicopter tragedy ..7 people die R.I.P
1992 Nirvana supporting Violent Femmes 26/Jan @ Fishermans Wharf. A huge Spit Gig

1993 Surfing the seaway in general (Read Stu's Main Story)

1996 South Straddie Plane crash killing 4 people R.I.P.
1997 Movie Horizon Tank (proposal) beachside of Sand Pumping Jetty
1997 (109m Clubbie +surfreel cableway -Uluru wavebreak Island/Pyramid casino Proposal)
1998 Couran Cove/S Straddie (Ron Clarke's Eco Village) Rooms are fitted with live surf cams.
1998 Couran Point/S Straddie Bruce Small(both GC mayors)TOS Golf course Proposal.
Golf Resorts command waterways & halt shore arrivals.(Course proposed was wall to shore)
______________________________________________________________________
(*Seaway Surftaxis) is based purely on heresay in forums. Feedback is most relative here!
2001 Terry's Weekend Surftaxi Back of Spit - Back Of Pipe
2002 Kiwi's Surftaxi Labrador - Back of Pipe >2002 Kiwi's Spit Carpark - back of Pipe
2006 Surftaxi Spit Carpark-Front of Pipe whereupon Dale to recent
___________________________________________________________________
Timeline Cont...
2003-Save Our Spit
2004 Trevor the Aqua Deer + 2008 Carla the Aqua Deer
2006 Sea world Eye was too high (packed up and moved on)
2009 Ian Sloan surfs a seaway setwave with his 40 ft Catamaran (Like a boss)

from here on you can Google any recent history. In context of story- following is pretty rad....
2017 Breakwater group proposed designer Margaret River/Angourie arena matchplay..' Wot?
Yeah! That's smack bang off southern wall & whole Spit beachscape. Off the table?

As with fellow Swellnetonians...always happy to share!

*Mystery Pro-surfer swam the Seaway with fish tied to ankles for a $50 Surfmag dare. [T or F]

Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 9:24pm

Take it easy trueblue your making me look good!
And I don't want that.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 10:40pm

True i remember the dare in the mag, can't remember the surfer though.

Ignore button is ON for Crypto knight

(Really no point entering into any discussion with such a sad bitter abusive old man, so go ahead bait and abuse me all you like)

Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 10:58pm

Trent Munro paddled across with a mullet tied on his leg. It was during ASLs prime years and they where doing the dares.

Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41's picture
Woof woof 41 commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 11:03pm

Mr Trent munro very true... Surfing life's fun days.. The mags getting better again braithy doing a fine job I think.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 10:11am

That's a damn fine list TBB. Comprehensive.

And I thought it was Margo who was dared by ASL to paddle the Seaway?

Tim Tam's picture
Tim Tam's picture
Tim Tam commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 8:53pm

99% sure it was Neal Purchase Jnr

Roystein's picture
Roystein's picture
Roystein commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 8:40pm

thanks for the excellent article stu.
i grew up reading surf magazines ritually every month, and slowly lost interest as the likes of Derek Reilly, Jimmy O'Keefe and Nick Carroll were overtaken by more and more trashy and poorly written articles took over.
your articles are as close those articles as i can find. much enjoyed, cheers!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 9:03pm

'1992 Nirvana supporting Violent Femmes 26/Jan @ Fishermans Wharf. A huge Spit Gig'

Hey Trueblue, can you remember who opened the gig?

That was one of the best days of my life- A bouncer I knew walked me in through the back entrance to the public bar and a chick i knew was behind the bar. Got in for free and didn't pay for a drink all day. Yew!

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 5:21pm

'1992 Nirvana supporting Violent Femmes 26/Jan @ Fishermans Wharf. A huge Spit Gig'

TBB my word that would have been massive. As WA was yet to join the Commonwealth way back in 1992 (so Nirvana didn't play in WA on its Aussie tour) and air tickets were Expensive, many of us missed this. They did release the Hoarmoaning EP with the tour though, just been cranking that for my groms, it was seismic back in the day.

Ash'sLashes's picture
Ash'sLashes's picture
Ash'sLashes commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 8:44pm

Hey Zen, StrayCats opened the night with the double bass and stand up 2 drum type kit.
Last night at BeachRoad nightclub after concert as well. Did u go????
Loved (hated) the paddle to TOS. Great time to surf it in the early 90's. Didn't realise the timing or luck as just moved up to the Goldy from the north coast and hung out with a few north end crew!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 9:20pm

Ash, you're right- Stray Cats did open. I think I remember, I was pretty amped (read smashed) from about mid-morning that day. How many bands in the lineup? For some reason I'm quite sure Deborah Conway was in there.

I did go to Beach Road for the after and Lino (the owner) used to sort me for drinks as I was loose mates with his younger bro as we went to uni together. I liked Beach Road as you could walk in there practically shirtless when most places on Cavill and Orchard Ave had a dress code of sorts.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Ash'sLashes's picture
Ash'sLashes's picture
Ash'sLashes commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 11:27pm

Hey Zen, not sure bout rest of line up but vividly remember, (going mainly because of VF's) and then being in and part of the best organic mosh pit during Nirvarna's set!!! And then VF's come on an watching and feeling the crowd dissipate till 1/2. Welcome to the world of GRUNGE !!!
BTW I remember walking out of Beach Rd (in boardies n t-shirt) to get a $10 top up from the ATM across the road and seeing this short, long haired dude getting out of a taxi and thinking that's the lead singer from that band tonight???
I'd never seen a picture of him before that night! U think he was there? Maybe Lino invited? I've always wondered?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 11:40pm

Ha! I saw a lot of things that night- traces, trails, colour morphing , melting, shape shifting, breathing solids. I was pretty fucking wasted man. As were a bunch of my cohorts.

I too was part of that mass of seething humanity. One big sweaty organic blob. Fark, what a night.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 9:25pm

that left!! holy shit..hard to imagine now

away's picture
away's picture
away commented Monday, 22 Jan 2018 at 9:41pm

Does anyone else remember a dugong that used to hang around in the seaway sometimes?
Saw it a number of times, near the north wall. The last time I saw it must have been around 98 or so. Scared the hell out of me a few times and gave me a life-long love and affinity for the creatures.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 12:30am

Spookypt perhaps the Seaway cleared the path for sharks to Surfers canals.
Big Sharks now cruise Reedy Creek near the [M1] just down from Train Station.

Mid 70's I hired out Paddle Boats/Tinnies from Budds Beach for 2 summers.
Sunbirds Royal SLS(Chix) patrolled the beach. Massive crowds...Never a shark back then!
Only sharks were in the main channel near TSS back to the Bridge. (Now like Piranhas).

zenagain Tour Posters/Set Lists only ever title Violent Femmes/Nirvana.(Oz day it was)
Of a 3rd act I'm certain your right & I can give you an educated guess of Two bands.
You see Nirvana also played Headline Gigs with an Oz support act.
That Band being "The Meanies" ...again were never listed on Nirvana Tour Posters
Note: The Meanies did also play the nearby Brisbane Gig.
Outside choice 'd have to be "Ratcat" who were massive at the time. (Played all Big GC gigs)
Swamp band or Edgy Pop band... Your call! ( Not much help!) Ask another if you like...

away...when Massive Rains come from the range flooding Brisbane River... all gets silted.
Dugong swim south to Broadwater Seagrass reserves. They even roam far out to sea.
They stay long enough(months to year or more) before returning to bay.
After 2011 floods the Broadwater had many sightings. (Few photos getting about).
Sorry for lousy marine biology teacher impersonation. If only Stu had a minute to spare....

Every chance that you see your life-long Dugong pal down our way after each West flood.
I think my twin sister gives your friend a big hug every chance she gets.
away is most fortunate to experience such majesty!
Vital to the endangered creatures that you shared sighting date also. Pretty cool!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 12:57am

TB, if I remember correctly, it was Debra Conway (but not fronting Do-Re-Mi on that occaision).

It was a truly WTF lineup- either that or the micro-dots we'd scored that morning and were kicking in during our fun little pre-gig surf. Either way, what a day.

Even pulled in. #MeToo

:)

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 12:35pm

Tumbleweed also did most of the Nirvana tour dates, Sydney, Canberra, Melb, Adelaide, but don't think they did Brisbane or Gold coast.

Only went to fishos once :( was a cool spot though.

Ignore button is ON for Crypto knight

(Really no point entering into any discussion with such a sad bitter abusive old man, so go ahead bait and abuse me all you like)

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 12:55pm

Pretty sure it was The Johnnies who were the opening act. Their drummer Bill told me a story how smacked out Kurt was backstage.
Still to this day probably my most intense music experience ever. Can remember a moment standing up on the railing overlooking the grass down to the water and it was just a sea of bodies thrashing like nothing I've ever seen, couldn't even tell where the grass ended and the water started, the bodies just merged onto the boats which must have been 50 deep all locked in together. Pure mayhem pre OH&S days. Epic.

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truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 5:30pm

I think I can keep a Northern thread going.
crg.. Johnnies drummer Billy Pommer was a loose knit North End boardrider.
Made the Switch to sister club North Burleigh Boardriders in late 70's.
Goofy foot Billy was slick at milking sections then throw in a cool cutback.

More famous as slickest Rhythm Drummer of the day...
1980 Bruce Small &" The Estates"(Paradise or Hell) Proto Punk band
Rocked up to contest in Black Hearse/boardz in Coffin.Long hair/Big black overcoats.
Miami Shark Bar/Punk bands stole alot of good surfers away.Quite literally.
No word of a lie, Billy inspired truebluebasher to take up drums-punk band quit same year.

1981 Seven Ballerinas/GC New Wave underground Fav'(Sometimes I feel)

1982 The Johnnys ...Billy played Drummer/Fullback for (Australia's toughest cowpunks)
Johnnys had more bottles thrown at them than every band combined before & since.
Singer always responded with reverse bow inviting all to kiss his arse....More Bottles! & on...

Woof Woof 41 you're so damn right.(mates) I cancelled a few gigs as it was. Sorry Stu!
No denying it's my wreck! Now to steer this hulk back toward the seaway!

During mid 70's Chateau Boys/Focus Crew never ventured past north end.
During Late 70's North Burleigh boardriders ventured as far as Birdlife Park for GC contests.
I recall afternoon Boat Cruise to South Straddie we groms had a few boards. No contest!
Naturally we had many 1st rate North End Surfers in the club.None spoke of Surfing The Bar.
Surfing the Seaway/ South Straddie during 70's was indeed wild frontier.
Things got Very Wild in 1976 with Nude Shangri-La Cruise to South Straddie.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 8:17pm

Yeah trueblue Billy had the rhythm alright. He even did a "Dave Grohl" and did a stint recently up front on vocals with his band BP and the guilty plea. Now residing in Melbourne with his kids right into the music scene and doing well.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 8:25pm

Also played with The Butcher Shop with Tex up front, and even did a short stint with The Gun Club.

Hell of a resume.

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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 5:33pm

So many good stories about that gig. As a postscript, when news of Kurt's passing reached the radio waves in '94, we were heading to the City Beach night surfing event in Perth that night. It was a surreal carnival-like feel with the lights beaming out into the sea, people everywhere, our mates laughing down from the groyne at the surfers and the news over the radio feeling like being belted in the guts - all at once.

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Pettex commented Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018 at 6:03pm

I remember doing the water taxi that ran from broadwater to inside of sth straddie in the late 90's. That walk across the sand from one side of the island to the surf was a mofo coming back with little to no shade anywhere. Blistered feet and a waiting game for the boat to turn up.

Summersault Festival in Jan '96 should also get a mention for one of the greatest lineups to play the Goldy.
Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Beck, Foo Fighters, Pavement, Rancid, Jawbreaker, Bikini Kill and The Amps.

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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 24 Jan 2018 at 1:16am

Good call crg/stu great to see local alternate drummer get a writeup. Swellnet exclusive.
crg you mention singing! Seven Ballerinas (At End of Cd) 1981 Silent track-No Title
Billy's proto Rockabilly snares while regurgitating lurid raucous rant.(Wild xxx/ Pre Pogues)

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mitchvg's picture
mitchvg commented Wednesday, 24 Jan 2018 at 1:50pm

Thanks Stu my mind has been nourished.

Is there a date for the youngest photo there? I wonder what the source of that swell was? Looks SE to me and the beachie doesn't have classic A frames but rights down the beach

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 24 Jan 2018 at 2:05pm

The "youngest" photo, Mitch?

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mitchvg commented Thursday, 25 Jan 2018 at 2:08am

Haha yes sorry as in youngest vs oldest. Most recent. I think it'd be the one with the waves breaking on the bar and you can see them bending in. "Although barely capping, this image of the bommie shows how the swell lines wrap around the shallow water before moving inside."

Basically, I'm still not convinced we've gotten to the bottom of exactly how we get a frames there? Is it the northern lobe or arm of a wave which is bent around the bar offshore, which refracts in and meets a wave coming through between the wall and the bar?

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 25 Jan 2018 at 2:14pm

Cheers Pettex! Excellent feedback... most relevant as requested. Doing us all proud!
Deja vu...Have we read your story before... Word for Word? (I did trawl thru swellnet vault)
I swear I tracked SurfTaxi to Broadwater late 1990's but lost my notes.(Is this original Taxi?)
The SurfTaxis play central role to Seaway/South Straddie Timeline... Thanx Stu/Swellnet

tails's picture
tails's picture
tails commented Thursday, 25 Jan 2018 at 11:40pm

Hey stu
thanks for the story and reigniting my love of straddie, in the 90's I paddled, never taxied but then most successfully took my own rubber duck over many many time.
Heading north past the crowds to what we used to call the "fourtez" bank (had to be over 40 to surf it)
Anyway 2 days ago after I read you story I jumped back in my new inflatable (bigger rubber duck) motored out of my canal around the seaway back north past the crowd of about 15 and surfed glassy clean albeit small waves to myself!!
2018 and surfing TOS alone!! looking forward to more
Also Stu I have a great straddie photo that I took, not sure of the year but it has 4 of the worlds top surfers recognisable in it would love to send it to you see if you can pick the surfers and perhaps the year?

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 26 Jan 2018 at 11:27pm

Australia Day edition.
In honour of Gold Coast/Oz Surfing Pioneers.
1829 Convict Getters & after surfed out thru-Tweed Bar swing surfing all points north.
Surfing thru Southport Bar was then a heavy wave as Albert 5 raced the one River Mouth.

(Simple plan)Surf outer Bar- cut ' inside point line-up slot Broadwater channel north. (Easy?)
[In Today's Surf Lingo]- Take-off/Floater/Bottom Turn/Trimming/Milking/Cruise.(1km+ ride)

Surfers racing too soon for the Tide, wipe-out on the timbered heads.
Too late and the Tides envelope tired surfers to awaiting far off sea graves.

Not all hope was lost as some lucky surfers got a 2nd chance.
Those madmen pulled out from a Log Jam.(Top dog fatal pioneering surf maneuver)
Their luck was short lived. These Getterz faced one long hostile Straddie coastline to surf.
As with the points...Single Straddie shoreline was also littered with smashed surfcraft .
These surfers rode their luck without advantage of sheltered Southern Headland swingsets .

Surf Industry is no place for wild colonial pro surfers riding sticker free surfcraft)
Only here at Swellnet can we ride the pioneers wavelength. (Best thank them & all cheers!)

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Saturday, 27 Jan 2018 at 3:26pm

Stu's South Straddie story a Game Changer! Massive South Straddie News from Govt .
Broadwater Master Plan preserves Spit + South Straddie.
South Straddie already has certain protection under Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Please if fellow Swellnetonians can enlighten us more. Sounds to good to be true!

On such occasion...
Please! A small ask to simply recap Stu's gamechanging South Straddie opening paragraph..
Thanx! Quite good Huh! Scroll to Andrew's stunning No.1 Photo.. if you so choose...

Either way Ferris Wheel is a space ship. TOS crew can't escape Big Brother SeaWorld Eye.
Re:Timeline( install date- Nov'2006) - (Removal-29/Dec/2008) At least good for a Photo date.
Gecko/S.O.S enforced Spit amenity rule. Coastline defenders wore only flak never praise.

Recapping a few extra gamechanging Dates from Stu's 'Breakwater Timeline' is essential.
[IMPORTANT] Saltwater People claim is overarching and ever active in many forms.
1825 Empire's Broadwater Reserve
1872 The Spit Public State Reserve
1930 Broadwater Aerodrome/Sea planes+ Heli Pads set overall height restrictions
1988-Tall AirShips tethered to The Spit were obviously allowed as extension of aerodrome
2006- Seaworld Eye (Tethered/cabled) grounded Aviation. Note 1990's Broadwater crashes.
2006 Labor Govt protect Seaworld North + Marine Stadium. see: 1872 (State protected all?)
2017 CST plans to tether mega Cruise Ships to The Spit/Grounding all aviation rescue/tours.
2018 Masterplan hopefully curtails GCCC lawless extremes...Kind to let us Know! Anyone?

Note: Check to see if Plans are still afoot to downgrade Seaway tower.(Save our Volunteers)
No mention of Air Traffic Control Tower in GCCC CST Study?
Anyone else see Mega Aviation Disaster waiting in the wings?

Brisbane Airport/CST flyover soon whoosh the spew buckets off the Princess.(Dive ! Dive!)

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Sunday, 28 Jan 2018 at 1:09am

[ATTENTION] (Southport Spit Master Plan) Includes (TOS) South Stradbroke Island

Expressions of Interest/ Subscribe for updates.

https;//haveyoursay.dilgp.qld.gov.au/the-spit or (Qld Govt/Have your say + search- title)

Spit feedback was 2017...Still a chance that South Stradbroke feedback will be sought.
note:This is your one chance to address Mainland/waterways/Spit/Island connectivity.
In this regard issues reverberate across all locations.

Some obvious Topics to consider...Fire Evacuation/Bridges/Tunnels/water/sewerage

100 years back Hinterland trains to all Riverailports-Broadwater ships to Twd-Syd+ Bne-UK.
Today's masterplan shan't be as radical as the golden age terranaut's Ho Hum.

Interstate Rail-Coach-Tram-City ferries private/Translink one network to airports. I think not!

South Pacific Rescue Base-Big enough to harness and freight whales in a humane way?

Sand/jetty Pumps/Pipe locations/Rock wall stability/Seaway depth/Surf Taxi sites.

Entry & exit points/Paddle visibility- safety/Seaway Tower/Lifeguard Tower's/Dogz/Dog Poo.

Diving amenity/Seagrass farms/Saltwater+Marine life+Maritime+ Surfing culture centre.

*Free ride seems over. An overnight [P] now costs one the Earth/Bum's Bay to get the boot?
Ban Tom's Polo concerts? Perhaps an economy range camping site that jacks up the price.
Most just want a bustop for crying out loud.Don't need a masterplan for that... 3 maybe 2!

Just so you know GCCC/GC Waterways Authority are in on the plan...no links as yet. That's it!

trolleyboy's picture
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trolleyboy commented Monday, 29 Jan 2018 at 3:16pm

Excellent article. More.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 2 Feb 2018 at 11:38pm

"The Southport Spit Master Plan" including (South Stradbroke Island)

TOS/Spit (UPDATE)

(Consultation process) more details on Site...See above.

Pop-Up Sessions

*Marina Mirage - (17/2/18) + (24/3/18)
*Southport Library - (1/3/18) + (13/3/18) + (24/3/18)
*Australia Fair - (1/3/18) + ( 22/3/18)
(All sessions are about 1 hour 30 mins travel time from border by Bus/Tram combo).

Extra sessions & many other opportunities will be afforded.
Major Consultation event will be held in late April.

CST has NOT been declared in Master Plan process. Yeah! Cool ...But!!
CST is declared a coordinated project, although C' General has decided not to declare CST.
GCCC is not prevented from proposal nor precluded from reapplying to Co'ord General.

In other words,now or never is only real time for CST. (After that, Master Plan will override it)
Note: GCCC know full well they can't even bribe CST onto 1st round of Spit table talks.

Swellnetonians you have your mission...S.O.S/T.O.S.
Earlybirds! Be cool to give Southerners a plug for a session...Straddie is an Island for all.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 2 Feb 2018 at 11:39pm

"The Southport Spit Master Plan" including (South Stradbroke Island)

TOS/Spit (UPDATE)

(Consultation process) more details on Site...See above.

Pop-Up Sessions

*Marina Mirage - (17/2/18) + (24/3/18)
*Southport Library - (1/3/18) + (13/3/18) + (24/3/18)
*Australia Fair - (1/3/18) + ( 22/3/18)
(All sessions are about 1 hour 30 mins travel time from border by Bus/Tram combo).

Extra sessions & many other opportunities will be afforded.
Major Consultation event will be held in late April.

CST has NOT been declared in Master Plan process. Yeah! Cool ...But!!
CST is declared a coordinated project, although C' General has decided not to declare CST.
GCCC is not prevented from proposal nor precluded from reapplying to Co'ord General.

In other words,now or never is only real time for CST. (After that, Master Plan will override it)
Note: GCCC know full well they can't even bribe CST onto 1st round of Spit table talks.

Swellnetonians you have your mission...S.O.S/T.O.S.
Earlybirds! Be cool to give Southerners a plug for a session...Straddie is an Island for all.

mantown's picture
mantown's picture
mantown commented Saturday, 3 Feb 2018 at 7:53pm

Does anyone know if the proposed new break wall at shell cove, shell harbour is going to make good waves on the north side of the wall? Would be offshore in southerly winds....

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Sunday, 4 Feb 2018 at 9:49am

yes I know

Frogg

Roystein's picture
Roystein's picture
Roystein commented Tuesday, 6 Feb 2018 at 7:07pm

Coastwatch have redesigned their site.

Some good videos popping up from "the vault" - back in the Brownies Coastwatch days.

Currently a 2 minutes video of TOS from 1998 on the landing page.

Check it out.

A couple of videos from the memory bank I would love to see - young Mick fanning surfing big barrelling outside D'bah (Cyclone Sose I think), same story has Sasha Stocker surfing big Carties and there is a sick one of Kirra too. Was such a good 30 minutes of TV.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 16 Feb 2018 at 6:18pm

The Southport Spit Master Plan + South Straddie Master Plan
"Pop Up Sessions" (Complete) Dates/Times as promised.

[IMPORTANT](No Seaway Bus Service + No South Stradbroke Pop Up venue)
NSW venues at Robina/Broadbeach Libraries are only 2 hr sessions...(Time is tight!)

Sat 17 Feb/Spit (Marina Mirage)...8am-11am (Ferry stop for South Straddie locals)
Sat 17 Feb/Spit Seawall...12pm-3pm
Sun 18 Feb/Spit Jetty... 8am-11am
Fri 23 Feb/Broadbeach Library...9am-11am...(NSW [700] +Walk or [745] )

Thur 1 March/Southport Library...9:30am-11:30am...(Bne- QR+Tram)
Thur 1 March/Southport(Aust'Fair)...3pm-9pm...(Bne-QR+Tram)
Sat 3 March/Spit Seawall...8am-2pm
Mon 5 March/Surfers Paradise(Circle on Cavill)...11am-2pm...(NSW-[700]+Tram)
Tues 6 March/Runaway Bay Library...11am-2pm (Ferry stop for South Straddie locals)
Tues 13 March/Southport Library...9:30am-11:30am...(Bne-QR+ Tram)
Sun 18 March/Spit Jetty...8am-11am
Wed 21 March/Surfers Paradise(Circle on Cavill)...11am-2pm
Thur 22 March/Robina Library...10:30am-12:30pm...(NSW- [760])-(Bne QR/Any Robina Bus)
Thur 22 March/Southport(Aust'Fair)...3pm-9pm...(Bne-QR+ Tram)
Sat 24 March/Spit (Marina Mirage)...8am-11am(Ferry stop for South Straddie locals)
Sat 24 March/Southport Library...12pm-3pm...(Bne- QR+Tram)

Reminder! (Major April Event)

Govt is pushing a Tourism focus? (Surfers United SOS/TOS)... Special Thanks to Swellnet.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 10 Mar 2018 at 1:00am

Southport Spit Master Plan "feedback" is for all Swellnetonians

Online (Feedback Survey)...Closes Sunday 25 March 2018

(Pop ups) close.... Sat 24 March 2018 (See above!)

Subscribe to receive updates on the Southport Spit Master Plan

SOS + TOS

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018 at 9:30pm

TOS/Spit Feedback ends Sunday 25 March 2018/Pop Ups end this Thurs/Sat 24 March 2018.
(See above for details) Gold Coasters wish to thank fellow Swellnetonians for your support.
Gold Coasters also thank Swellnet for caring to highlight our concerns and tribute our breaks.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 12:58pm

Nominations for Master Planing Workshops for 20 public positions of Key Groups.
( North End Boardriders/Narrowneck Longboard Club/ "T.O.S.-Paddle or die Boardriderz?"
Any of these clubs would be essential Key Groups for shaping The Spit/TOS Masterplan.
Nominations for Key Group leaders close Monday 9 April 2018...(TOS now's the time?)

It seems that general interest feedback is still being offered via online survey. (see: Above)
Thanks to Swellnet for enabling this civic Surf update.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 2:41pm

S.O.T.S.O.S.T.O.S. (Palindrome translation) Save Our Tower/Save Our Spit/The Other Side.

Gold Coast Waterways Authority (07 55397350) [email protected]
Have your say on the future of monitoring for The Gold Coast Seaway
The Seaway Tower Survey... (Alternative Title)
Have your say Today + Tomorrow this Friday 20 April 2018.

1987 Malcolm Taylor Memorial Tower (Seaway Tower) is run by Volunteer Marine Rescue.
Tower needs a makeover but Authorities wish to scuttle it for (Camera controlled Seaway).
Spend wise for ongoing excellent free service of spend peanuts for CBD based security.

Fellow Swellnetonians please spare a moment to consider...

Only physical outpost as search & rescue lifeline to S.O.S.
Tower has command over Jetty/Beaches all year round. GCCC Lifeguards(Close in Winter)
Operating from Tower Base VMR patrols then rescues swimmers/surfers as well as boaties.

GCCC is promoting Taller Vessels thru Seaway whilst more surfers paddle or die.
Seaport Planes also radio the Tower for clearance/rescue assist. (Tower views approx ditch)
Tower can best observe all accidental Spit Fires/Smoke spotting to launch rapid response.

VMR Tower acts as year round First Aid Centre.
Lost children/Swimmers...lost anything even security
(Pets/Wildlife/Fishing/Marinelife mostly directed by Seaway Tower staff.
Litter/Traffic/Water Taxi issues can be alerted to tower staff.

Ask yourselves what we stand to lose! A life lost due to an ongoing malfunctioning camera?
VMR need our support we need them as our eyes & ears...in their Tower freely rescuing all.

Consultation ends Tomorrow Friday 20/April/2018

Sorry for late call. No other Civic Group is onboard...hence this desperate Swellnet plea.
Very short notice...(Less than 3 weeks + Today's NewsPaper Only)... Anyone? S.O.S/S.O.B...
Goes without saying (Gold Coast Waterways) have prescribed a Deen Bro's O/N bender.

Big thumbs up to Swellnet for Urgent Civic Surf Announcement.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 28 Apr 2018 at 9:19pm

The Southport Spit Master Plan... "Consultation Report" (Out Now!)

50% Middle age northern locals want Surfing beaches & Walking trails protected.

[IMPORTANT]
CST was left off masterplan. GCCC are now pushing hard to include it on agenda.

GCCC /CST- 86 said YES /144 said NO (High Yes vote is not reflective of findings!)

+ 3 stories - 11 said YES/ 212 said NO (Minister has endorsed the 3 story rule)

100% positively rules out 10 story Hi-rise Cruise ships!

Plain as day *Less than 11 Gold Coasters "fully endorse" Cruise ships over 3 stories high!
Talk of 'Spit CST' Feedback but not a dozen care for it. (So we all just wave it on thru...)
That's precisely the reason why CST wasn't in Master Plan. (Whiteshoestompin'time)

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Saturday, 21 Jul 2018 at 2:19am

Lot's of News. Firstly an Apology!
I wasn't notified of small window on Draft Vision Statement (Feedback).
Don't sack me I'll bring Swellnetonians up to date to this very day even... I promise!

Following on from my crumby rundown of Consultation Report. (Lets continue)
Draft Vision Statement ended (Sun 8th July 2018) again really sorry!
Background Summary Report (2 weeks ago) (is recommended reading prior to final)

Final Vision Statement for The Spit + TOS is now available for you Today...(Hang on!)

There are additional Documents that hold equal weight so don't rush in...allow some time!
I did try to put these in chronological order,I said tried! Close enough I reckon!

*Memorandum of Understanding (Preparation of Master Plan)Re: Mayor- CST
*Background Reports
*The Spit Master Plan: Background Summary Report -
"Embracing the Past,understanding the present,looking to the future."
*Report on consultation for the draft Vision Statement
*The Spit Master Plan Finalizing the Vision

Now don't worry if you missed a trick most other docs are also on site.

For further Spit News read- Main Beach Association/Save our Spit/Save Our Broadwater.
Please Note GC Waterways have timely stacked board with Mayor's CST/Chief of Staff .

(I'll try Govt site feed again... If not! You can source the manual address title from above)

haveyoursay.dsdmip.qld.au/the-spit

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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 7:34am

NEWS: Gold Coast Bulletin (Today)23/8/2018
" Why a Giant Pipe will be built through popular Surf Break "

GCCC to run giant Recycling Pipe through the centre of Iconic TOS Surf Break.
Full story is available to Subscribers Only.

I can't say if proposed Pipe will be run on piers or buried or even floated?
I'll check back later on this...maybe a Bully reader can relay full story?

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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 12:06pm

GCCC Recycled Sewage Outfall Pipeline (Stage 1 costs $32m)
Bne Airport Link Tunnelers John Holland Pty Ltd were awarded the Contract.
Broadwater Tunnel digs 20m deep runs 1,450m long x 2.4 Diameter for 920mm-1.2m Pipe.
New Trenchless method is considered best environmental outcome. Stygofauna Voted [NO]
No mention of prohibited Broadwater use during Tunneling.

[IMPORTANT]
TOS Swellnetonians please pay close attention to GCCC Closed session Report (Late June)

RE: Negotiations had meant there would be "Opportunities for a reconfiguration of...
... South Stradbroke Island works and Future offshore Stages to be pursued."

Code: GCCC have a Tunneling Machine on the island? (Spit Tunnel [VOTE] Surf Tunnel)
GCCC proposed"Major Works Site" may over ride Southern Straddie Spit Master Plan?

Proposed Pipeline makes landfall on South Straddie's Western Shore next to Scrub-line
Crosses to Oceanside 500m north of Sandpipe or 900m north from Seaway Northwall.
There is no mention to continue Tunnel or an Overhead Pipeline out thru the Surfbreak.
The pipeline extends seaward 3km presumably to clear MP boundary.
Note: Sewer Pipe runs thru- MP but Sewerage Outfall pollutes a few inches clear of MP.

Whoever is the first to know that SOS Surfbreak is in clear...Please do share !

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thermalben commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 12:08pm

Good sleuthing mate.. thanks.

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Plasticspastic commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 1:01pm

I worked on this project for a number of years, the proposed pipe is a long way north of TOS, and was proposed to be HDD (horizontally directionall drilled) well beyond the surf zone, and continued on the ocean floor for around 3kms, before diffusers realeased the recycled water. this work is 5 yers of yet, and won't impact straddies quality ..

The works being covered by John Holland focus on the existing seaway release points (yes thats right their is currently a recycled water release pipe on both the northern and southern side of the seaway entrance. main reason why those cuts from scrambling up the wall get infected.....) and work in the broadwater... better to focus on the proposed cruise ship at phillip park...

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stunet commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 1:10pm

"better to focus on the proposed cruise ship at phillip park..."

Which will be put before council again next year.

Anyway, how far north of the break will the stage two pipe be? You talking kilometres north?

I'm also wondering about access restrictions, albeit temporary, during stage one construction. 18 months is a long time.

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Plasticspastic commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 4:22pm

When I say focus - I mean focus protest and effort on things that may impact. For the recycled water line - Work currently underway is no where near the ocean side, but the future plans for the ocean release are about 2-3kms north of the pipe.. but will be drilled under ground so the only above ground we will see is the pit needed for the HDd equipment and that will be temporary , as with the offshore line which will be laid via barges...

I will say though whole idea of pumping recycled water (waste water treatment plant effluent) from the entire Gold Coast all the way to the spit and south straddie to be pumped out is very costly and silly.. that is another argument however - much better we run a line of Miami/ broad beach.. cheaper and easier to operate...

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stunet commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 5:00pm

Appreciate the reply, PS.

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crg commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 1:54pm

Off topic but from earlier conversations on this thread from trueblue re: The Johnnys - Spencer P Jones has sadly just passed away. :-(

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stunet commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 2:03pm

I was surprised to find out he was a Kiwi.

Least he brought something better than TOFOG when he crossed the ditch.

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crg commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 2:22pm

Just like Kiwi rock legend and no.1 inductee into their Rock hall of fame - Jordan Luck - is a Canadian!

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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 2:59pm

Thanks for the insight Plasticspastic
I failed to mention...
"New mapping" (Photo) Shows pipeline running thru Surf Break as described above.
GCCC have budgeted over the"next 12 months" for development of Stage 1(as Above)

As you mentioned GCCC Map of a Tunnel under the island out to sea reportedly exists.

As of now no contracts have been signed for further Tunneling under Island or Surfbreak .
Swellnetonians aren't fools! Who digs a Tunnel Machine to an island with No plan B?

I agree to focus on Cruise Ship...
Phillip Park Cruise 'Ships rise 12 stories high...About 9 stories in breach of 3 story limit.
Spit Aerodrome will be grounded every time a ship of over 3 stories berths. (All of them!)

GCCC CST shows [P] for 8 mini buses (160 pass) That's for 2 x 5,000 passengers.
Just for comparison the real CST in Bne shows [P] for 55 Double Buses =( 5,500 passengers)

GCCC CST report plain as day rules out any Ship Passenger buses to visit town.

How to whiteshoe a "3 story" Spit resort for 10,000 visitors in the middle of an aerodrome?Answer! Mayor rezones the Spit as an Aircraft Carrier Resort . (What do you mean already?)

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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 23 Aug 2018 at 3:57pm

Thanx crg/Stu not off topic as Billy was in North End when he started drumming.
Stu mentioned NZ... The Johnnys earlier booked a NZ Tribute Tour for Spencer next month.
Toughest Gig of all for Oz's toughest act.
Whip up a Storm & Give'm Hell Billy...we got your back partners!

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truebluebasher commented Friday, 24 Aug 2018 at 12:36am

Great to have your insight Plasticspastic...thanx for keeping us in the loop.

"The TOS Poo Pipe" is already raising a stink...Believe me! Here least of all...

Not the fault of The Bully either as Paul Weston had to wrangle notes from closed meeting.

GCCC can't simply hide a Poo Pipe running 4km thru a Marine Park /Island/Surfbreak.
Project can't stop at Island and postcard a $Gazillion Tunnelling Machine as Rusting hulk?

I watched the GCCC TV news spin. Next to no detail...Mayor: "Surfers have nothing to fear!"

Stu's excellent feature article shows reason to talk up the Sand Pumping Scheme...

Sadly GCCC have no cred whatsoever on Sewage pipes about The Spit.
By there own admission in 2017 mid year CST report...
[LOST] Last seen on The Spit one GCCC sewage Point... (Possibly oozing into MP Reef)
[LOST] Last seen on The Spit one GCCC effluent line...(Possibly shitting on Heritage Wreck)
Very same GCCC CST report was rubberstamped by Feds as dolphin friendly...

Start off New Year 2018 with....
[CONTAMINATION HAZARD] Seaway Tower Septic system failure [EVACUATE]

Pretty bloody obvious GCCC can't keep shitting in Federal & State Marine Parks
No choice but to run pipeline past Qld Marine Parks & Spit Masterplan.
Then cost & detail whole project before Surfers/Divers + all...Otherwise we're all in the shit.
Lost GCCC pipes are still oozing shit whilst they hide from the public their next load of shit?
That's Bullshit! That is!

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JosephStalin commented Friday, 24 Aug 2018 at 9:31am

About the time of construction my uncle bought a block with direct beach access (50m)on north strad for 7 grand now worth crazy digits and maino is still quiet through the week

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truebluebasher commented Friday, 24 Aug 2018 at 2:52pm

GCB Friday 24th Aug 2018...Spit pipeline plan draws surfer's fury... (by Paul Weston)

"GCCC maintain the pipeline will keep 20m underground & North of TOS Surfbreak."

GCCC have not availed any complete plans or contracts to back up this statement.
GCCC Project Sites reveal working process and some river mouth options for project.
Planned progression from Marine Park Island seaward alarmingly dithers this way & that?
In regards to Tunneling the Island out to sea they're all at sea.(No more than cartoons exist).
Mayor- North of the Equator...digging all the way to China mate! Round we go again...

Public assume that pipeline continues on direct affordable course out thru the TOS Break.

Terry Teece is not alone in backing some of S.O.S. President's concerns...(Count me in too!)
S.O.S. over the years has raised some alternative uses and concerns of GC recycled water.

*Release of environmental data according to the current Pipelines in recreational zone.
Re: PLasticspastic warns of these sites (above)...Careful not to cut yourself in Seaway.

*City branding impact of shitting in our own pristine Moreton Bay Marine Park backyard.

*Gold Coast can rightly become World Leader of recycling 100% waste water or NOT.

*$32m Stage 1 to rid our most valued resource amidst worst ever drought is criminal.

*Tunneling may undermine TOS Surf banks and further contaminate iconic surfbreak .

Thanks to Paul Weston & Darren Crawford for continued excellent Seaway reporting.
Good on Stu & Tappa & Mick for helping out the Northern Crew & a huge Thanx to Swellnet!

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truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 25 Sep 2018 at 1:07am

(ATTENTION) Swellnet Groms...Bored of your holidays yet?... like so yesterday already!
Government Squares can now cure boredom with Holiday Homework...Yeah!

"Spirit of The Spit Comp"
7-12 y/olds...30 second Video Comp &/or Photo comp
13-21 y/olds...30 second Video Comp &/or Photo Comp

4 winners of $500 vouchers for Spit Activities
*Surf Lessons
*Sea World + Dolphins (Oops! I never said that)
*Water Sports
*Scuba Diving
*Dinning+ Accom'

Aks muM / dAD... comp closes on Friday 12 Oct/2018
Checkout more at... 'Southport Spit Master Plan'
Surf Lessons also earn Homework credits (maybe?)
Good Luck & Happy Holidays...Save Our Spit Groms!

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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018 at 10:06am

(ATTENTION) Swellnet Goofs + Spit roasted Hot Dogz ...2019 DSR [BEACH CLOSED]

The Spit Dog Surfing Reserve will be off limits with the rising of the Twin Towers.
2019 GCCC install [Tower #46] between South Seaway Wall < (260m)> Sand Pumping Jetty.
From Sand pumping Jetty is another 140m >[Tower# 45]

GCCC Doggy Rulebook #1 Rule(Quote)"Totally prohibits Dogz- 200m of Flagged Areas"
Flagged Areas measure(60m total)- 40m + 2 x 10 m extra flanking Boardriders flagz
[Towers #45 - #46] The Spit Dog Surfing Reserve will be closed... $1/2 m Doggie wash 4 sale.

(ATTENTION) Goofs...(Nerang Head Left Break - Seaway South Break Wall)
Seaway Tower(re/ above: Thursday 19,April 2018)...Consultation is a closed shop...Anyone?

Pause! Spit Masterplan Boardriding Reps should be updating us on such major changes!
Without any inside information feel free to be run ragged with my ramblings...

GCCC Photo/ Mayor alongside Acting Chief LifeGuard shouldering the Southern Seawall.
Assuming this spells the end for seaway Tower then Tower #46 Commands River/Beach.
New tower equally invites swimmers closer to River Danger as such needs River Patrol.
GCCC currently patrol Currumbin/Tallebudgera Creeks +Broadwater Swim enclosures.

Surfers are way ahead of me here...Yes possibly the Breakwall Lefts will be a Flagged Area..
Jetty Rips were cited as reason for new Tower...further indicating Flags will nearer the wall
These Springtime Lefts are the nectar that spoon feeds Gold Coast Goofs.

(re above: Sunday 1,April 2018) Swellnetonian Calls out to Spit boardriding groups...

Possible that Boardriderz may still wait on baited hooks under the Jetty.

Reminder that SLSQ have a camp nearby and have been rearranging deckchairs
They've done roving patrols up as far as Seaworld Tower and are head of the queue.
This is equally a Briso beach & Main Beach SLSC is packed so most head to Their Local Spit.
I'm guessing they've struck Gold & Seaway Jetty is ideal rip for Iron man rescue training.
Spit SLSC nippers will most likely flank the Twin Towers...do we need a pause? Ok!

Where to ride your Boards? Again... your Boardriding Community reps can answer that.
Alternatively pray that someone on the Spit Masterplan committee surfs.

Before you go spazz!
Note: Burleigh Heads Light Rail/Cycleway plans block access to 3 SLSC + [Tower 19]
6 red lights to beach +4 beach entries closed +6 red lights from beach +3 beach exits closed
Mermaid Beach free run south Surf Safari cut out by 2 red lights detours + 1 red to The Point.

Line in the Sand ...Beach is very much premium reserve...
Groms are wondering ! Sorry but No! Twin Towers Beach is 3kms from nearest Bus stop.
Even last leg convalescents must hurldle The Peloton for last breath seaside recuperation.

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truebluebasher commented Saturday, 27 Oct 2018 at 5:24pm

(ATTENTION) Hot off the press (Midday Saturday)

The Spit Master Plan (options report) + online options survey

https://haveyoursay.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/the-spit

Community Pop up sessions ...contact centres for times...(not given)
All during November 2018...
1st Harbour Town/1st Australa Fair/2nd Runaway Bay Library/3rd Pacific Fair/
4th The Spit Dog Beach/5th Southport Library/10th S SLSC/ 13th Robina Library/
15th Australia Fair/17th Marina Mirage/18th Broadbeach Markets.

avagoodweekend!

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truebluebasher commented Sunday, 28 Oct 2018 at 12:24am

The Spit Master Plan (Options Guide: Traps & Pitfalls)

GCCC are baiting the process by push polling options centering on CST.
Whatever you choose you loose. GCCC can & will use your option to their advantage.
They have done this with Masterplan process already & The Bully lapped it up!
Implying the say nothing option supports GCCC CST. Damned if you do damned if don't!
Choose carefully! Don't be afraid to call out unfair play where you see it...Hope this helps!

Page 9 New Village Centre Activity > recreation launching point (CST)
Page 13 Cultural Fishing Connection (smells fishy) opposite (CST)
Page 15 Gateway to the world CST site ( That'a bit much) (east coast shipping mostly)
Page 11 Philip Park(CST site) is down graded to (Mixed) Natural area & ( or ) park? (premium)
Page 17- Lightrail stops at proposed CST site...it does not continue to Sea World (Suss!)
Page 17- Spit Bus Loop Terminates [P]Boat mooring/Ferry site opposite CST
Page 19 Linear Plaza Links River to Oceanside CST

Notice how Spit Masterplan is planned around the CST site

OPTIONS
Page 40 Village Centre (Former ASF Casino Site) (Opposite CST)
a)Boutique Mixed use low rise multi use Development + multi level Carpark/ Ferry/Lightrail
Marina/Accommodation + Connected after hours experiences
Page 41 Village Centre
b)Small Broadwater side Village centre + Massive open Carpark /Ferry(opposite CST)
Fishy Museum/Market stalls in Car park

Note: Both options support GCCC CST link to accom/Shops/Marina [P] Bus loop/Tramline

Page 43 CST (Oceanside) 4000 passengers (Not even meant to be the Master Plan?)
a)Forecourt Bus [P]> Drop off/Pick up & Short Term Passengers
Large Ped crossover to Riverside Village
b) Strong link to Riverside activities signalized intersection
Sufficient Bus/Taxi/short term [P] for pick up/drop off to support 4,000 pass.

[Factcheck] GCCC CST report rules out Pass day trips from CST site.(Not going into town!)
[Factcheck] GCCC CST plans for 8 mini bus bays for 2 x 4,000 pass. (Resort opposite only!)

Why the hell is Masterplan insisting GCCC needs [P] for 4,000 pass when GCCC don't want it!
Either GCCC are not on board or Masterplan is planing their CST for them...crook either way!

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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 31 Oct 2018 at 2:56pm

Pop Up Sessions...Addresses/Dates/Times out now...See ya there!
Trick question to fire at them! (Jubilee II Bridge ~Timeshare Trolley Up Zone ~)... Yes or No?
https://haveyoursay.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/the-spit/key_dates#39400