PLAN FOR YACHT CLUB ON ISLAND
It has been 20 years since ‘boots-andall’ proposal for $10 million harbour and townhouses on Wavebreak
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.