Lake protesters turn their backs
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.