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.