Gold Coast ship terminal back on the drawing board
Older Gold Coast surfers will remember the proposal to build a marina at Kirra. If they put their mind to it they'll also remember it wasn't just a one off proposition, the plan kept re-appearing throughout the late-80s and early-90s.
A similar thing is now happening at the other end of the coast with the proposed cruise ship terminal at The Spit - the preposterous plan that just can't be killed off.
The latest blueprint for The Spit, released yesterday for public discussion, flags a cruise ship terminal as one of two options for Philip Park, an area adjacent to the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort. The second option is simply to upgrade the parklands.
First proposed in 2015, the ship terminal proposal has undergone many changes. The latest would have a jetty extending 700 metres into the ocean offshore from Philip Park. The City of Gold Coast's reference design has a rock breakwater running parallel to the beach for approximately 300 - 400 metres creating a swell shadow in its lee.
The same design was the subject of a 2017 Four Corners program that revealed significant concerns by cruise ship operators relating to the facilities' exposure to waves and wind. A matter that's even more poignant in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Oma.
One of the Gold Coast's most prominent developers, Norm Rix, slammed the proposal telling the ABC in 2017:
"It butts onto the ocean itself, and if you're looking for a tourist attraction, well that would be the first cyclone that comes along and washes the cruise ship onto the middle of Main Beach."
At the same time, a number of Gold Coast councillors also came out against the project.
"I actually don't think it's viable or reasonable or feasible to build a 700-metre jetty out into the open ocean," Councillor Glenn Tozer said.
"I think it's almost a ridiculous proposal," Councillor Peter Young said.
"It's a mighty big ocean and it has very powerful waves. There's very many days in any year when they just will not be able to get a ship into this city."
Despite all this, the cruise ship proposal stayed on the table and yet again it's raised its ugly head.