New report questions viability of Gold Coast cruise ship terminal

Elise Kinsella
Swellnet Dispatch

Gold Coast councillors and community groups are questioning the financial viability of the city's proposed $450 million cruise ship terminal, after a confidential Queensland Government report shows the project would need to be much larger than planned for.

The Queensland Government-commissioned report was produced last December but kept confidential until it was released to the ABC under Right To Information laws on Tuesday.

The draft report evaluated the Gold Coast City Council's plans for an offshore terminal on the oceanside of the Southport Spit, just north of Surfers Paradise.

Its significant findings included updated plans for the 900-metre terminal jetty to more than double its width over land, more than 300 car parks to be lost to the beachgoing public, and more than 25 hectares of open space to be lost.

The report recommended the jetty would need to include four lanes over sand dunes, growing from the planned 7m in width to 15–16m, if it was to accommodate trucks and passenger movements.

Gold Coast Councillor Glenn Tozer, who has consistently voted against the project, said recommendations would have an impact on the cost of building the proposed terminal.

"We need to do the right thing by the public by making sure they understand that perhaps we haven't counted up all the money that might need to go into this," he said.

"And we need to work out whether there are actually other major projects that could be more important and could be better delivered."

Artist's impression of proposed Gold Coast cruise ship terminal (Supplied: City of Gold Coast)

The report did not calculate the proposed new jetty costs but did conclude: "this change will have implications for the indictive construction cost and business case".

Cr Tozer believed this new information could have a significant impact on public opinion about the proposed terminal.

"Those decisions that we make that are the best decisions they hold weight over time," he said.

"As more information becomes available on this project, I think more of the public will realise it is not actually a project we should be prioritising."

In a statement, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said "Council will present its business case to the State Government once the Spit Masterplan has been finalised and endorsed".

Changes 'not surprising'

Former Queensland Government architect and Gold Coast City architect, Phillip Follent, said the proposed change in jetty size made sense.

"It beggared belief that a structure only 7m wide could go out and service that [terminal], which had to bring passengers to and from a ship as well as all the provisions," he said.

"So it isn't surprising to see a structure recommended to be twice the width."

Mr Follent estimated a change in jetty size would add a major cost to construction.

"It is not necessarily twice the cost but it is certainly going to be a huge extra cost on the project," he said.

A 2017 council report into the financial viability of the project, produced before proposed changes to the jetty, found the terminal would be unlikely to make enough money within its first 30 years to cover construction costs.

But it did find the terminal would provide economic benefit to the city including supporting about 3,500 jobs.

The latest Queensland Government report also found the loss of more than 300 public car parks "may discourage use of the beach by the general public and place greater demand on facilities elsewhere on The Spit".

It anticipated a different look for the area.

"A change in character in this area of The Spit from predominantly an open green space to an urban space characterised by built form, parking and vehicle movement," the report said.

© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 2:50pm

They can also stick another theme park on the end of of it. and all it Blackpool world or Huntington 2.0.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 8:46pm

Gold Coast Golden Age of Cruising is coming to an end.
Current Bne CST feeds passengers to Byron -Mt Warning- Gold Coast -Fraser Island.
Bne gets half Qld Cruises & Gold Coast gets half of current passengers free of charge.
That's right! No one ever told you that GC is in the middle of a cost free Cruise Boom.
It actually benefits Gold Coasters far & wide equally fair to big & small operators.

New Mega Bne Port has Mega Coach Parking. Excursions need Mega Coach facilities.
Theme Parks win out but Byron & Hinterland will fall off the current excursion vine.
Bigger coaches won't tackle the Hinterland as do current mini bus providers.
Mayor has sold #1 Transit centre so cruise visitors will bypass Surfers Paradise.
Broadbeach Tram / Pac Fair interchange a poor 2nd for Surfers Paradise visitors.

Proposed GC 'closed shop' CST 'rules out' all GC CBD/Airport/Translink connect.
GC CST Star's Casino Beach resort > [ped bridge] > Duty Free Mall > Sea World
This explains the low key narrow Jetty. GC CST reveals only 10 Mini Coach Bays.
There Plan shows only 1st Class Passengers are entitled to leave the GC Port.
They have no use for mentioned Jetty widening to warrant Mass Coach Interchange.


Port of Brisbane no matter what, will run both GC & Bne CST's
Bne either sits & watch Gold Coast sink both of them or...
Bne takes control of shitty GC CST 3x expensive build + 4x Port handling costs
eg: New Bne CST covered walkway crosses direct to Coaches waiting in Foyer.
GC CST Tsunami Sherpas rope in the Ship, passengers chance a wade between sets.

So what's the answer?
Have Qld Govt upgrade GC CST (As they are!) Hope it blows out GCCC budget.
Govt can best run GC CST as an overflow Bne CST to offset Timetables & save...
So they need to play out the End Game.(Knowing it gives GCCC CST a leg up!).

So why then does SMP Light Rail [STOP] mid plan? "On a Master Plan!" A bit Odd?
Govt reps told tbb that Tram runs down Tedder Ave to McIntosh Park.
Unlike Philip Park, custom Park affords passengers choice of Day Excursion Coaches.
Govt know that Main Beach locals said No to Tedder Ave Tram.
SMP Tram sits awkward never indicating to locals that it's heading in that direction.

Govt SMP pushed back & halved all Surfside Car parking along length of Spit.
Govt SMP front rowed & doubled all Riverside Car Parking along length of Spit.
Govt is also selling out every Riverfront Park for Boat Moorings...A bit rich!

Today! tbb noted current swimming bans were extended 200m either side of Jetty.
Yet largest GC Car Park feeds all beach goers into this biggest GC rip as today & ever.
CST huge Jetty will ban swimming 400m either side likely more.(Maybe surfing too!)
[DANGER]Beach Erosion/Contamination [NO Parking]@ S/E Qld Biggest Rip! .
Beach Car park claim is bogus as general public will never legally swim at Jetty ever!
"A different look for the area" could say that x 100 Million!

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:31pm

Yeah they can fuck off with that.

Bill Scholer's picture
Bill Scholer's picture
Bill Scholer commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 3:10pm

Tom Tate's CST is just a front for a new casino. Blind Freddy can see thru Tate's folly. Tate has a mandate and be assured that it's not straight.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 4:50pm

Mick Fanning for Mayor!?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 10:34pm

tbb also personally thanked Mick (Legend) for fronting up to the GC Mayor

Since tbb's post a recent Spit visit locked out Beach Flags bodybash access...
GCCC-Allowed TV Series into Our Flags with (Boards/Drones/Dogs/Jet Skis/Boats)
Heavy Drone Cam hovers countless Jet Ski /Surfer Edits in & out the middle of flags.

Oz safe Rules- [Boards 10m / Drones 30m / Dogs 200m / Jet skis +Boats 400m].
Every law for sale...Nothing is sacred! GCCC refused to record any complaint.
GCCC tear up Casa & State marine Safety Regulations for a price. (tbb Verified)
GCCC even refused to [sign-Filming in flags] Baiting the least safe swim zone ever!

SMP withdraws,obstructs & detours Swimmers from all Safe Flagged Beaches.
The reason for our set back is to Hire more beachfront for markets & Beach Bars.
Boaties & Resorts are gifted 1,2,3 & more premium direct waterfront Family Parks.
Leaders call this theft of our Surf & Parks..."GC Central Park" by Whiteshoe Brigade.

tbb is warning other communities to put up a fight or lose your beach- access...
Sure we're losing the battle but we'll never give in...sadly this war has only just begun!

[news] tbb just read GCB... confirming the above said Tram Route thru- Tedder Ave.
I informed Swellnet & GCB in Oct 2018... but only now GCB print it!
tbb reckons soon they'll verify The McIntosh Park Staging Area for CST Buses.
Main Beach residents will link arms with Spit Surfers...(This is War)

State Govt said no CST in SMP...Govt overstepped their own brief. Why?
GC wanna know why the CST / Tram is now the centre of the Universe?
More importantly answer why we paid up locals are being locked out.
Locals preferred Chinese ASF mobsters to Govt whiteshoe mobsters.

Please tear up fake SMP & take yer Timeshare Trolley Upzones & piss off!
Gold Coast are sick of apologizing to nation for endless Govt corruption.
All Spit locals tbb spoke to are fired up ready to go...never had to ask!
Big thanx to swellnet & crew who all know if we don't fight we lose the lot.