In a huge win for Gold Coast surfers, Premier Campbell Newman killed the plans for a $2 billion cruise ship terminal at Kirra Beach.
“There would be no cruise ship terminal at Kirra Beach,” Newman told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “While we always welcome new ideas about how to grow the state, we will simply never entertain the idea of a cruise ship terminal at Kirra Beach.”
Billionaire developer Bob Ell proposed plans for terminals at Bilinga and Broadwater, prompting a campaign against the development that included hotels, a casino, apartments, a cruise ship terminal, and super yacht facilities.
Newman’s reasoning for the stoppage was two-fold: tourism and the general feelings of the Australian public. “Our beaches are just too important – not just as a natural wonder or as a place for families and surfers – but also for the central role they play in Gold Coast tourism,” he said. “Tourists have flocked back to the Gold Coast this summer. It’s been the best holiday period in years, and our magnificent beaches are one of the big reasons why.”
Among the group of protesters are Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, who both took to the fight via social media. “Everyone who is concerned about the cruise ship terminal show up and have your voice heard,” said Fanning on Instagram. “This is a community stand so if you surf or just enjoy the beach as it is, let’s make a statement!”
Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance had planned a paddle out protest on January 19th, which may now be a celebration. There is still work to be done, however. While the Bilinga terminal has been axed, Mr. Newman said that the Broadwater cruise ship terminal plan was still on the table.
Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance issued a statement about the decision, and made a call for action on work that still needs to be done:
This is a huge victory for all those who campaigned so hard against such a devastating proposal for North Kirra. Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance would like to applaud the Premier of Queensland for his decisive action to axe the ill-fated endeavor.
However SOSBA stands side by side with its Northern Gold Coast cousins SAVEOURSPIT to oppose the Broadwater plan for a Cruise Ship Terminal/Casino on public land that will affect the World class surfing location of South Straddie.
SOSBA would like to call on the Qld State Government to list the 38 kilometre Gold Coast coastal strip from South Straddie to Coolangatta as a World Surfing Reserve to be heritage listed and ultimately protect our greatest natural assets namely the beach and surf from public land grab.