Mayor right to push projects that nur­ture tourist in­dus­try

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION - TONY LENAN, CLEAR IS­LAND WA­TERS

JUST when some peo­ple in our com­mu­nity were, for some rea­son, won­der­ing why we’d elected Tom Tate as our Mayor he has writ­ten a col­umn in the Gold Coast Bulletin and re­minded us all why 73% of vot­ers elected him (‘We can’t let the NIMBYs set the tone’, GCB. 13/5/18). He’s prob­a­bly just lost a few votes with en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and re­tirees but at least we know where he stands!

Sure Tom has got­ten a few mi­nor things wrong along the way but his vi­sion and di­rec­tion is very much on the right track. We’ve had a mix of good, bad and ap­a­thetic lead­ers over the decades I have lived on the Gold Coast but Tom is eas­ily the best Mayor we have had in the last 30 years or so.

We have a di­ver­sity of in­dus­try and com­merce in our City but let’s not for­get that our cor­ner­stone has al­ways been and re­mains tourism. We have bril­liant beaches and wa­ter­ways as well as world her­itage listed rain­forests, theme parks, top notch shop­ping cen­tres first class restau­rants and night­clubs. We will al­ways be a tourist mecca but we need to nur­ture and de­velop our tourist in­dus­try. A cruise ship ter­mi­nal (ac­cessed with­out en­ter­ing the Se­away) is a no-brainer. We want thou­sands of tourists hop­ping off cruise ships every week spend­ing money here ..... and who wants to cruise into the Bris-Ve­gas river with scenic views of old wharves and in­dus­trial build­ings en route to won­der­ful at­trac­tions (like .... um ..... err ..... the Story Bridge and Mt Cootha?) when the Gold Coast is so close any­way!

A hin­ter­land ca­ble­way should get a quick nod of ap­proval too. Any­one who’s been on the Skyrail in Cairns would know it has neg­li­gi­ble im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, at­tracts a lot of cus­tomers and ed­u­cates a lot of ur­ban­ites about the en­vi­ron­ment.

An­other casino? Ab­so­lutely! Bring it on – but not on The Spit or in sleepy South­port please! It needs the right lo­ca­tion. Why rein­vent the wheel? Around the world casi­nos work bet­ter clus­tered to­gether like in Ma­cau and Las Ve­gas. Let’s put it anywhere be­tween Cav­ill Ave and Hooker Blvde.

Why stop at two casi­nos though? Light and heavy rail linked to the air­port is sim­i­larly a must but let’s not for­get the road net­work ei­ther. The con­tin­ued up­grad­ing of the M1 and the con­struc­tion of a new M2 is es­sen­tial. The re­cent “band aid” up­grad­ing of Bun­dall and Ber­muda Roads was of some help but it’s high time we blew the dust of the plans for the long mooted ad­di­tional bridge cross­ings over the Nerang River through Sor­rento and Benowa.

All of this devel­op­ment needs to be un­der­taken with ap­pro­pri­ate sen­si­tiv­ity and con­cern for all res­i­dents and our en­vi­ron­ment. We un­der­stand the surf­ing com­mu­nity want min­i­mal dis­rup­tion to their surf­ing breaks and that en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists play an im­por­tant role too. We need jobs, in­dus­try and pros­per­ity though. We want jobs and I want my kids to have jobs and ca­reers on the Gold Coast and we need sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and new at­trac­tions to fa­cil­i­tate this.

All these com­pet­ing in­ter­ests need to be bal­anced but in the end we need lead­ers with vi­sion and com­mit­ment for our city who are pre­pared to ac­tu­ally make de­ci­sions and move for­ward. Af­ter all that is why we have a Coun­cil.

Tom Tate and his more en­light­ened mem­bers of the Coun­cil have that.

To our avid en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and re­tirees who don’t want to see any­thing change re­mem­ber that you have op­tions. If you want to live a in a re­gion where noth­ing gets done be­cause of vo­cal mi­nor­ity in­ter­ests and war­ring Coun­cil­lors and where in­fra­struc­ture, ser­vices and devel­op­ment do not even re­motely keep pace with de­mand you need only move just south of the border and pre­tend it’s still 1972. (Care­ful though as you can’t even get pub­lic hos­pi­tals built down there with­out protests!)

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