Lake pro­test­ers turn their backs

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - PAUL WE­STON

MAYOR Tom Tate emerged from a protest at city hall about Black Swan Lake yesterday con­vinced he was de­liv­er­ing for the ma­jor­ity of Gold Coast res­i­dents.

A packed gallery of protest­ing lake sup­port­ers turned their backs on the Mayor as he gave his last may­oral re­port at full coun­cil meet­ing.

More than 50 res­i­dents ar­rived be­fore the 10am meet­ing af­ter sev­eral ear­lier had vis­ited the “bor­row pit” at the back of the Bun­dall equine cen­tre.

Asked out­side the coun­cil cham­ber what he thought of the protest, Cr Tate replied: “Well, democ­racy works. They’re here, they dis­agree, that’s why I love Aus­tralia.

“I think the good of the many out­weigh the good of the few. This way there will be other peo­ple util­is­ing it.”

But the Mayor was dis­mis­sive when asked why some res­i­dents were so com­mit­ted about fight­ing to save it.

“Mate, there’s 40 peo­ple (protest­ing). There’s 600,000 peo­ple (liv­ing in the city), you know,” he told a re­porter.

“As mayor of the city I look for­ward to de­liv­er­ing for the ma­jor­ity.”

Aerial pho­to­graphs pro­vided to the Bul­letin show much of the lake is filled in af­ter the Gold Coast Turf Club gained ap­proval from the coun­cil to cre­ate a grassed area.

Black Swan Lake Com­mu­nity Group leader Tammy Ho­gan led a chant where she “shamed” coun­cil­lors who had voted for the lake to be filled in.

Wildlife Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety Gold Coast pres­i­dent Sally Spain spoke out in favour of those coun­cil­lors who sup­ported the lake.

Coun­cil­lors Peter Young, Bob La Cas­tra, Dawn Crichlow, Daphne McDon­ald and Glenn Tozer were sup­ported by the crowd. Mayor Tate, Deputy Mayor Donna Gates, coun­cil­lors Her­mann Vorster and Cameron Cald­well were sin­gled out for speak­ing in favour of the lake be­ing filled in.

Res­i­dents were also fu­ri­ous with area coun­cil­lor Gary Bail­don who orig­i­nally put for­ward the no­tice of mo­tion for the lake to be turned into a car park for the Gold Coast Show So­ci­ety when it was based at the Turf Club.

Coun­cil­lor Peter Young was the only coun­cil­lor to ad­dress the protest group and ap­plauded for his stand. He said few op­tions were avail­able at this late point to save the lake.

Black Swan Lake pro­test­ers at Bun­dall ear­lier in the week.

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