Exclusive: Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate unveils his $70 million cruise ship terminal proposal

March 29, 2016,

February 22, 2016 12:00am

MAYOR Tom Tate’s ambitious cruise-ship terminal will cost $70 million and could need funding from all three levels of government.

The long-awaited “Plan B” proposal would be built by 2020 as an offshore jetty half a nautical mile off The Spit from Philip Park, adjacent to Sea World.

The plans were given to the offices of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg two weeks ago and will be unveiled to the community today, less than a month before polling day

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has proposed another version of the Gold Coast Cruise terminal, copy pictures of the proposed site at Philip Park, Main Beach Picture supplied

Details revealed to the Bulletin yesterday include:

  • a 362m terminal capable of accommodating the longest cruise ships in the world.
  • a 16m depth where a “purpose-built caisson breakwater” would be built.
  • positioned north-south with wings at either end providing safe harbour for ships.
  • operated by a private company with passport control handled on-ship.
  • at least two dive platforms and stairs, allowing for easy access to the wreck of the Scottish Prince, a three-mast iron barque which sank off the Coast in 1887.
  • existing carpark at Philip Park used to “minimise any traffic or impacts on recreational areas”.

Mayor Tom Tate is hoping to keep the cruise ship terminal alive with a new site to be at Philip Park, Main Beach. Pic by David Clark

Cr Tate said he had worked on the project for six months with a team of four engineers who helped design it as well as determine the price tag.

He said he was staking his political future on the controversial project, which has been at the centre of debate for more than 15 years.

“It is fair that I take it to the people of the Gold Coast at this election, and, should I be returned, I think it would be fair that the State Government would respect this mandate as I respected Premier Palaszczuk’s when she came to power,” he said.

“Economic modelling shows that by building a cruise-ship terminal we could add $20-$30 million to the city’s economy annually and deliver 140,000 new tourists each year.

“This design answers all the concerns raised by other communities and I think going modest on the ocean side is the best answer we have, which should end all further speculation … I wish to end the 15-year debate.”

Mayor Tom Tate with plans for a new site to be at Philip Park, Main Beach. Picture: David Clark

Cr Tate said the location would be subject to change based on talks with stakeholders but its depth would avoid ongoing dredging.

The cost needed to be shared by Gold Coast City Council and the State Government and he also hoped for Federal Government and private sector funding.

“There are federal grants we can look at as well …” he said.

A State Government spokesman confirmed it was aware of the project but it was yet to be fully assessed.

“The Government remains committed to protecting The Spit and the Gold Coast’s iconic surf breaks and beaches from unsustainable development,” a spokeswoman said.

Deputy Opposition Leader and Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek said the project had his “in-principle” support.

“We will be interested to see what the costings would be for the state but as the local member I give it my in-principle support.”

Cr Tate first revealed he wanted to build a cruise-ship terminal on the Gold Coast two days before the 2012 council election.

The plan, including ASF Consortium’s shelved multi-billion Wavebreak Island idea, has been long debated.

Community groups, including the Save Our Spit Alliance (SOSA), GECKO and Save Our Broadwater (SOB) have all opposed the project.

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