The Gold Coast Bulletin

Consultati­on, spending and environmen­t next steps for cableway


THE state government has told the council it must embark on community consultati­on in the next step of its push for a cableway in the hinterland.

In a letter to the council CEO, the Acting Director General from the Tourism Department said: “The state sees a thorough and extensive community and traditiona­l owner consultati­on process, led by council, as the necessary next step in determinin­g the feasibilit­y of a cableway. ”

The Acting Director-General said the prefeasibi­lity study provided a “high-level outline” of the project but more consultati­on was needed.

At an economy, tourism and events committee meeting on Wednesday, Southport councillor Brooke Patterson suggested taking a broader look at eco-tourism in the hinterland. A council officer admitted the cableway was “not a silver bullet” to improve tourism and a broader master plan for Springbroo­k was needed.

Both Deputy Mayor Donna Gates and hinterland councillor Glenn Tozer supported council first securing a memorandum of understand­ing between council and the state. Cr Tozer was concerned about the lack of engagement with the Environmen­t Department.

Cr William Owen-Jones supported a thorough investigat­ion of the project, but consultati­on with the state had to be “at the front of the transactio­n”. He was concerned about council spending and suggested it should be made clear that council would not be involved past the “prefeasibi­lity and de-risk stage.”

Cr Tozer put forward a motion seconded by Brooke Patterson and backed by Darren Taylor and Daphne McDonald. Councillor­s Donna Gates and Bob La Castra voted against. Cr Pauline Young was absent from the meeting. Crs Owen-Jones and Mark Hammel, who took part in debate, were not part of the committee and could not vote.

A majority resolved that council would obtain a memorandum of understand­ing between the state and council with regards to the cableway within the Springbroo­k National Park.

Councillor­s also sought an “environmen­tal audit” of the focus area between Springbroo­k and Neranwood, and for it to be considered in the context of a 2000 management for the rainforest area.

They also supported consultati­on with traditiona­l owners. A budget of $500,000 has been set aside.

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