It has been 20 years since ‘boots-an­dall’ pro­posal for $10 mil­lion har­bour and town­houses on Wave­break

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

WAVE­BREAK Is­land is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for boat­ies.

Cre­ated in the mid-1980s dur­ing the devel­op­ment of The Se­away, it has be­come a pop­u­lar place for Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions and even the oc­ca­sional protest.

But many times over the past 30 years it has been in the crosshairs of de­vel­op­ers who have been keen to pitch a new look for the is­land.

One such pro­posal was made 20 years ago this week when a Gold Coast yacht club wanted to build a $10 mil­lion deep wa­ter har­bour, club­house and town­house com­plex.

The plan called for a bridge from Marine Pde near the junc­tion of Bur­rows St at Big­gera Wa­ters across to the north­west tip of the is­land.

For the pro­posal to ahead, it was agreed that ex­ten­sive dredg­ing and recla­ma­tion work was needed and the north­west sec­tion of the is­land ex­tended to take in the har­bour.

Talks were held be­tween the Gold Coast Cruis­ing Yacht Club of­fi­cials and of­fi­cers from the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Queens­land Trans­port and the Gold Coast City Coun­cil.

The talks be­gan in Au­gust 1998 and con­tin­ued into Oc­to­ber that year.

Club Com­modore Betty Dunn un­veiled the pro­posal and told the Gold Coast Bul­letin at the time the whole plan was de­signed to ben­e­fit the pub­lic, not just the club.

“The bridge will open up the is­land to ev­ery­one and the club will be re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing the is­land clean,” she said.

“At the mo­ment the is­land can only be used by a se­lect few – if you aren’t rich enough to own a boat you can’t go there.”

It was the sec­ond plan to tar­get the is­land at that time.

Pre­vi­ously, lead­ing ar­chi­tect Des­mond Brooks had held talks with coun­cil of­fi­cials about us­ing it as the base for a vis­it­ing cruise ship ter­mi­nal.

Part of that deal would have in­cluded works to sta­bilise the south­ern end of South Strad­broke Is­land.

The yacht club’s plans called for most of the is­land to be left in its ex­ist­ing state but with garbage and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties to cater for the in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple pro­jected to be us­ing it.

The club wanted to be al­lowed to build 42 lux­ury apart­ments, 20 town­houses and a con­ve­nience store on the is­land to pay for the other works.

“Un­like other clubs this one can’t be built in stages,” Ms Dunn said.

“It’s a boots-and-all pro­posal.

“Be­cause we have to spend so much money in the early stages we have to fin­ish the job com­pletely for it to be vi­able.”

The plan pro­posed a 550m har­bour, 150m wide and with a nav­i­ga­ble depth of 4.5m at low wa­ter.

Seven marina arms would have 189 berths rang­ing from 10m to 30m in length.

The har­bour en­trance would have faced north to take ad­van­tage of the nat­u­rally formed deep wa­ter chan­nels which ran along the north­ern tip.

All build­ings would have been re­stricted to two sto­ries.

Ms Dunn said the club­house would have been “very mod­est”.

“We have in­cluded sewage pump-out fa­cil­i­ties on the marina with manda­tory con­nec­tions for those who wish to stay on their boats,” she said.

“The club would have em­ployed a res­i­dent care­taker, bar and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff, a har­bour mas­ter and a se­cu­rity team.

Their pro­posal never gained sup­port from civic lead­ers and was shelved.

Wave­break Is­land is pop­u­lar among and boat­ies, par­tic­u­larly on Aus­tralia Day, and was the cen­tre­piece for an am­bi­tious devel­op­ment pro­posal for the Broad­wa­ter 20 years ago and (be­low right) the Gold Coast Bul­letin’s cov­er­age at the time.

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