JSW Powersports have been closely following both the planning for the Broadwater cruise ship development and the general management of our waterways.  The Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) called for community feedback on its speed limit review and have had a number of responses come through, many from residents pushing for its recommendation to extend slow speed zones across the Broadwater and Nerang River even pushing for a blanket six knot zone throughout our waterways. If this consideration is put into place the detrimental affect it would have on the community, local businesses and tourism is endless.  Not only will it affect every commercial vessel on the water but the recreational use of the water which is a part of the Gold Coast lifestyle we all love. This along with what the council calls a Broadwater Marine Project means we could see the end of recreational and commercial use of our waterways.  This proposal is the result of a joint initiative of the Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast to seek private sector investment to deliver a cruise ship terminal and multi-billion dollar integrated tourism project. It represents potentially the largest piece of integrated tourism infrastructure in Queensland’s history.  Not only would this be highly detrimental  to the marine industry on the Gold Coast but offers only negative outcomes for boating, fishing, diving and surfing - all the things that people come to the Gold Coast to experience.

Concept: Cruise Ship Terminal Located on the Waterfront of Doug Jennings Park

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The Marine Action Group Inc feel that ‘A cruise ship terminal in the Broadwater does not pass the common sense test’ and have looked into the effects that it would have on Gold Coast Residents. ‘The marine industry is a vital part of the Gold Coast economy and surveys that have been carried out over the loss of access to important boating destinations such as The Seaway, Marine Stadium and Wavebreak Island have recorded clear opposition by boaties to what has been dubiously dubbed by Council as "The Broadwater Marine Project". The potential for flood issues or the loss of fishing or boating amenity all represent potential negative impacts on our lifestyle and a risk to our property investments so there are good reasons to have a clear understanding of the risks posed by this proposal.’

Concept: Cruise Ship Consortium propose light rail route circling Main Beach, the Spit and linking Labrador

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Some of the concerns that have been flagged during this debate are:

- potential for damage to revetment walls of waterfont properties

- potential for higher flood levels

- possible that Jumpinpin bar will close with irreversible habitat impacts

- loss of seagrass beds that are listed as significant (fish breeding nurseries)

- loss of migratory bird feeding and roosting areas

- loss of the only city dive attraction in Australia

- marine safety concerns when Seaway closed - entry/departure of cruise boats

- closure of fishing and diving activities - entry/departure of cruise boats

- an extreme flood risk in the event of a marine accident

Studies carried out for the State in 2003 included an Offshore Terminal in its analysis. An ocean terminal is the only solution that does not cause negative impacts on the environment, surfing, diving or boating safety while still maintaining the right of passage through the Seaway for all boat owners.

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In addition, the flood risks associated with changing the Broadwater hydrology are avoided. An ocean terminal also delivers more - it can accommodate two super liners (not just 1 boutique ship) with a greatly reduced risk of marine accident or adverse environmental or flood impacts. It can also become the biggest artificial reef as part of an offshore diving experience and could even be designed to produce the best surf breaks. It can be a destination itself with marine education center, underwater observatory etc. The construction of an offshore cruise ship terminal can also be integrated with the work needed to the waste water discharge pipes and upgrading of the sand pumping station.   This seems to be the proposal that passes the common sense test, but what will be the fate of our Broadwater?

Please find links below with further information on the Broadwater cruise ship development -

http://saveourbroadwater.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurSpit

http://www.ourmainbeach.com.au/

http://goldcoastevolution.com.au/

http://www.broadwatermarineproject.com.au/

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/traffic-reports/cruise-ship-consortium-propose-light-rail-route-circling-main-beach-the-spit-and-linking-labrador/story-fnl6qvfc-1227009312143