Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin


Towns across Australia cruelled by change have diversifie­d to become niche tourism hotspots. However, the Gold Coast continues to be hindered by the anti-everything mob

- PETER GLEESON peter.gleeson@news.com.au

JUST off the Great Ocean Road in quiet hinterland Victoria sits a town aptly named Forrest. For over a century it survived off the four sawmills that curated wood from the gigantic trees that surrounded the village.

Everybody worked at the sawmills, until 2003, when the last of them was closed, and the land around Forrest was declared a state conservati­on area, or national park.

The town quickly died. Just about everybody moved away. The same fate awaited the small Tasmanian town of Derby, which relied on tin rather than timber to survive.

Tin was discovered at Derby in 1874 and the township thrived until 1948, when a deadly mine accident triggered safety concerns, with the town’s population slumping to just 173.

And then along came mountain biking. With the Victorian and Tasmanian government­s spending millions to create world-class bike trails, both Forrest and Derby are being transforme­d.

There are over 80km of single track trails around Derby and 65km of trails around Forrest. On weekends, there are cars, people and bikes everywhere. The economies are being transforme­d.

The world’s great mountain bike trail creator Glen Jacobs said he had never seen anything like the change in the small towns. “The transforma­tion for the towns and local communitie­s was incredible,’’ he said.

“We knew we had something special.’’

These towns are examples of government­s working together with locals and private investors to come up with a revenue-raising solution away from timber and mining. Flight Centre boss Graham “Skroo” Turner has set up a labyrinth of bike trails at one of his family’s eco resorts.

It begs the question – why is it so hard on the Gold Coast to develop environmen­tally sustainabl­e tourism drawcards, like bike and walking tracks, for visitors and locals?

Why is it that every time somebody tries something different – such as a cable car linking the mountains to the Gold Coast – it is shot down in flames?

The Covid-19 pandemic has proven that nothing stays the same forever and to survive in business you must be adaptable.

The Gold Coast has the best beaches in the country, and it certainly boasts the top theme parks and golf courses.

But we’re fast becoming a one-trick pony and the hinterland, in all its glory, is being woefully under-utilised.

Where is the contest of ideas from developers and entreprene­urs for the hottest new thing in tourism on the Gold Coast?

Where are the mountain bike trails being built to entice people from all parts of the country to the Gold Coast?

The problem is simple. Decision-makers and bureaucrat­s have become beguiled by the Green movement.

State Labor relies on Greens preference­s to win a number of seats and because the Greens are antieveryt­hing, they’re not game to deviate from the status quo.

What that lack of

confidence in investment means is that developers and those bank-rolling projects just give the Gold Coast a miss.

It’s all too hard, they say. It’s such a shame.

The hinterland has so much to offer tourists. Places like Mount Tamborine, O’Reilly’s, Binna Burra and Canungra are so popular, especially at weekends.

Yet our politician­s are too scared to support major new tourism infrastruc­ture such as fresh bike and walking trails in state forests for fear of the backlash.

With internatio­nal tourism now on the back burner until at least the second quarter of 2022, government­s need to show courage and risk with new projects.

If an investor is prepared to put their money where their mouth is, they should be given the green light to proceed, ensuring they adhere to the proper planning protocols.

New investment is the key to the Gold Coast’s ongoing future. It is all very well to see new tower projects being approved as land supply quickly runs dry.

We have to make sure people have things to do when they arrive. Eco-tourism has become the buzzword of the 21st century as people seek out high-adrenalin adventures in their own backyard.

There’s been recent debate about whether skydiving should be approved over The Spit. Thankfully, sanity prevailed and the council gave it the green light, but the usual suspects were out in force to have it blocked.

This anti-everything must stop. We need to trust the council to do the right thing. With all the environmen­tal checks and balances and conditions in place, surely it’s time to further open up the green behind the gold.

Why is it that every time somebody tries something different – such as a cable car linking the mountains to the Gold Coast – it is shot down in flames?

NSW had 124 new cases of Covid today – why aren’t the government bureaucrat­s telling us the details such as are any in hospital/icu, age, sex, severity of the sickness or are they still in the community. Come on tell us the truth !!!! Foggy

Ten billion to be spent on the next Olympic Games. Money we don’t have and our hospitals continue to degrade. Hello … is anyone in charge of this country? Kimbo

I was in the mall in Surfers the other day and I stumbled across a hat.. it was full of money. Far out , I was thinking of all of the things that I could do. Typical Surfers, the next thing that happened, I was getting chased and abused by this weird guy with a guitar!! The local.

TV picture bung, all else working, just needs new picture tube. Seems only TV fixers live in Qld. Border now closed. Please beam me up Scotty & send me back only when world is normal again!

Hey. We all guessed it. The footy players’ families are into the Qld hub. The border can now be closed!!! Pathetic. Diz

Since time began the earth has slowly been getting warmer, wetter, drier or colder, depending on the eras. So you carping CC doom n gloomers, get over it and just shut up.

With a mask on I can still smell BS. A.J.

Scott Morrison, most of the time an apology disarms, rather than encourages, critics. So the next time you or one of your Ministers is asked to say sorry for the bungled vaccine rollout, like Peter Dutton was by Karl Stefanovic on TV this morning, just say a heartfelt “You are right and I am truly, deeply sorry”. Far better than weasel-words like “We accept responsibi­lity”. You are responsibl­e, so apologise properly.

The waffle that John Coates went on with about why our Premier should attend the opening ceremony was enough to make me vomit rocket

Why is this Queensland govt so determined to ruin all small businesses … another week of masks when we don’t have any Covid and border is closed … it feels very deliberate … many retail C and cafe businesses going to the wall unnecessar­ily .. ok for them … no loss of income …

Now that Queensland has won, awarded, given, found … the Olympic Games. Can we please keep Peter Beattie as far away as we can from the Games. Miss Benowa

Gayle Beale’s (GCB 21/7) if, as you say, you have no interest in politics, why then, in both your recent letters, do you slate the Labor Premier, especially over keeping us safe during the pandemic, yet no mention of the Liberal federal government? The vaccine rollout has been appalling which is why we still have necessary lockdowns. You also never addressed the fact that Morrison travelled to the UK recently to attend a G7 meeting, a group to which Australia does not even belong! Double standards?? Diamond

So it’s okay for all Gold Coasters to be inconvenie­nced for as long as Qld govt and GCCC like but now we’re going to throw billions to get everything ready for Olympic Games that are in Brisbane!! Locals don’t count. MaryT Elanora

Is anyone else like me & think by the time we get to 2032 the Olympic Games will be irrelevant? Have you heard anyone apart from the media talking about the current Olympics? I mean all these athletes are profession­als and in front of us all the time unlike when it was for amateurs. Joseph

Anastasia’s going to the opening ceremony now. The hosts suddenly find a spare ticket out of the limited 1000. Her response to the invitation? “I told my constituen­ts I wouldn’t leave my hotel, but, if you insist …”. More falsehoods and double standards.

If the Govt said it was safe to put your fingers into a live power point, 80 per cent of the population would be dead, and the remaining 20 per cent would be fined. Campbell.

And the loser is … hospitals, prisons and dams!

Climate change preachers need to get a grip. How arrogant to think the human race is going to save an earth billions of years old. When the earth is ready it flick humans off like a dog does to a flea and will continue to exist for another billion years. Use your plastic bags people. You are blip in the history of mother Earth and the jokes on you if you think you determine her existence. – John

Love her or hate her but the Qld Premier along with Aust PM, Brisbane Mayor and John Coates plus their team did a marvellous job in promoting the successful campaign for the 2032 Olympic Games … well done to everyone … bring on the Games. Doug

Anna got us The Olympics, Yahoo! … Observer

Can anyone guess how many public servants & politician­s have had there wages or salaries impacted over the last 12mths. You got it … zero. We are. Clearly not in this together so pollies please stop using this cliche.

Congratula­tion to Anastacia Palaszcuk MP and the Brisbane Olympic team. Let’s hope the Ocean Way will be completed by 2031

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 ??  ?? The town of Derby in Tasmania reinvented itself from a producer of tin to mountain biking hotspot for tourists. Picture: Stu Gibson/Tourism Tasmania
The town of Derby in Tasmania reinvented itself from a producer of tin to mountain biking hotspot for tourists. Picture: Stu Gibson/Tourism Tasmania

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