The group behind a failed Gold Coast cruise ship terminal plan says it’s still keen to build a resort and casino on the site.
The group behind a failed plan to build a controversial ocean terminal on the Gold Coast says it still wants to build a casino on the site.
Premier Campbell Newman this week announced the Queensland government would not support the ocean terminal at Bilinga in the wake of mounting community pressure.
Some of Australia’s top surfers, including Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, joined community groups to rally against the plan, saying it would impact on tourism at the renowned nearby Kirra Beach.
The Gold Coast Ocean Terminal (GCOT) group said it respected Mr Newman’s decision.
But a spokesman said the group still wanted to build a multi-million dollar integrated tourism resort and casino at the site.
“GCOT will also still invest in building a new world-leading sand bypass outlet, which will help recreate the old world-famous Kirra surf break, create new breaks at Bilinga and nourish northern beaches,” he said.
Despite the news, community group Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance (SOSBA) will push on with its Big Paddle Out event on Sunday, which was supposed to be in protest to the proposal.
It will now focus on promoting a World Surfing Reserve to protect the coastal strip from south Stradbroke to Coolangatta.
Fanning and Parkinson will attend and are expected to address the crowd.
“We want the premier to guarantee there’ll never be a cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast full stop,” Parkinson told reporters after the Kirra project was canned on Thursday.
“He must say no developments like this from Stradbroke to the border.”
The government is still considering a cruise ship terminal proposal at Broadwater, which has been met with similar levels of community opposition.
SOSBA president Jim Wilson said the focus now will be to fight for new legislation and more recognised surf reserves.
“We’ve won this round. We won the fight against a marina at Kirra in the 80s. But there will be another one,” he told AAP.
“You can’t let go, because politicians come and go. What doesn’t come and go is the land, the sea, the foreshores, the beaches and the swell. We must not destroy it.”
GCOT will now vie against other developers for one of two regional casino licences the government will offer in Queensland, with a third earmarked for Brisbane.