The Queensland government has announced the preferred developers of a proposed cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast.
The Queensland government has put the fate of a planned cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast in the hands of the local council.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney announced on Thursday that ASF Consortium was the preferred developer of a planned terminal just inside the Gold Coast Seaway.
The Broadwater Marine Project also includes a 50-storey tower and low-rise residential buildings.
Mr Seeney says it will now be up to the council and the developers to progress the plans.
State land would be made available to build the terminal if issues outlined in a government report are addressed.
This includes carrying out extensive community consultation and producing a detailed environmental impact statement (EIS).
“While the state assessment team has identified the possibility that the ASF Consortium could deliver a cruise ship terminal, their proposal has not yet ticked all the boxes for the taxpayers of Queensland,” Mr Seeney said.
“We are prepared to give the proponent and council further opportunity to overcome the significant challenges identified.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says the development was a “game changer” and had the potential to transform the region into the state’s construction and economic hub.
“It is bankable and technically feasible,” he said.
“I’m quietly confident that locals will get behind the project because they know too many friends and family making the lonely drive to Brisbane to find work.”
A spokesman from Cr Tate’s office said the integrated development was worth about $5 billion to the region and would create 36,000 jobs.
Mr Seeney says the ASF Consortium was free to apply for one of two regional casino licences, however the government would only consider issuing a licence to the developer if a cruise ship terminal was built.
“No cruise ship terminal, no casino licence,” he said.
The government has also ruled out issuing a temporary casino licence associated with a proposed cruise ship terminal on the Southport Broadwater.
Save Our Spit president Steven Gration says Cr Tate has “seduced” the government into offering up to 80 hectares of public land to a Chinese government-owned firm to “build whatever they want”.
“We find it extraordinary that a cruise ship terminal could be so valued that you’d give away over $4 billion worth of public real estate,” he said.
Dr Gration said it didn’t make sense to build a terminal on the Gold Coast Seaway as ongoing and costly dredging would be needed to allow ships to access the narrow and shallow estuary.
The development would negatively impact on the environment which many tourism operators relied on to entice tourists to the area, he said.
It could also affect a nearby world-class surf break which had an economic value of about $30 million a year, he added.
Dr Gration said he has no doubt residents would vote against the terminal if a referendum on the issue was held.