ASF Consortium, the front-runner to build the Gold Coast cruise-ship terminal, has vowed to take up the slack for the State Government with a pledge to splash out more than $600 million in infrastructure costs should it get the nod for the $5 billion Broadwater project.

The move is another salvo by ASF Consortium aimed at sweetening the pot for the government and turning public sentiment in favour of the cruise ship project.

Under its current concept master plan, ASF Consortium has committed to pay for roads, new ferry terminals, dredging, power, water and sewerage services on top of the development costs associated with the integrated tourism development.

ASF also plans to finance the ongoing dredging works required for the life of the cruise ship terminal.

“One of the key requirements for this project is that it’s delivered at no risk and no cost to the City
of Gold Coast and Queensland Government,” says Allan Fife, the project director for ASF Consortium.

“This includes the funding of project associated infrastructure within the project location and surrounding area.

“What this means is improved outcomes for Gold Coast residents, including more than $600 million invested in infrastructure within the project and around the city at no cost to the City of Gold Coast or ratepayers,” he says.

ASF has started its community consultation process is currently under way through a telephone survey and online feedback. It is understood the online feedback received to date is below what was expected by ASF.

ASF Consortium comprises the Australian listed investment company ASF Group (ASX: AFA), China State Construction Engineering Co Ltd, which is the world’s third largest construction company, and CCCC Guangzhou Dredging Co Ltd, a significant player in dredging and land reclamation for major projects.

The group has already talked up the economic benefits of the development with estimates that it will create 30,000 jobs in total, including 12,300 jobs after completion, and attract more than 170,000 passengers a year to the city by 2020.

Fife says one of the critical infrastructure planning considerations is traffic on The Spit.

“We plan to work very closely with authorities to address traffic and transport issue,” he says.

“Our first priority is the preparation of a new transport model, including the operation of light rail. This is a very important process to understand the wider city impacts and integration of the project with Southport.

“Our concept master plan also considers several ferry terminals within the Broadwater to make the waterfront more accessible.

“I need to emphasise that this is not an isolated project. Our approach to infrastructure requires city-wide planning for the long-term so the project integrates with Southport and the city.”

ASF Consortium says a rigorous environmental assessment and approval process to be undertaken involving all levels of government.

“We have reviewed the environmental and related reports that were made available as part of the competitive market process for this project,” says Fife.

“We’ve carefully considered avenues to enhance land and marine eco-systems. As a result, an eco-marine park is a central element of our concept master plan to attract bird roosting and marine wildlife.

“Our plans also include an additional 3.5km of waterfront revetments and edge conditions to create new micro-environments similar to existing dive sites within the Broadwater.”

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