MAYOR SETS SCENE FOR CRUISE TERMINAL SHOWDOWN

MAYOR SETS SCENE FOR CRUISE TERMINAL SHOWDOWN

GOLD Coast mayor Tom Tate (pictured) says he will take on environmentalists over his plans for a cruise ship terminal and today ridiculed the Save Our Spit (SOS) group at a business breakfast.

Tate has promised a cruise ship terminal during his first term as mayor.

After a trip this month to the United States, where he visited the largest cruise ship terminal in the world at Miami in Florida, Tate says council could consider three locations for a Gold Coast terminal - the east side of The Spit near Sheraton Mirage, a smaller facility near Sea World and a terminal on a redeveloped Wavebreak Island.

The mayor says he does not support a proposal by billionaire developer Bob Ell to build a terminal off the beach at Tugun.

Tate says he consulted with SOS over a possible cruise terminal at The Spit, which the group opposed. He told today’s business breakfast that when he suggested an option on the Broadwater side, the group suddenly changed its name to Save Our Broadwater.

“They need to change the name to SOC . . . that is Stop Our City. Put a SOC in it. It is a very small group,” says Tate.

In a question and answer session after his addresses, business owner and director of the Queensland Conservation Society, Samantha Morris, asked the mayor about his plans for community consultation and questioned how he could “deride” a group like SOS.

“I don’t view Save Our Spit as an eminent opinion maker and we will have to agree to disagree on that,” says Tate.

“We will do a consultation process through newspaper or online. From that, we will have the opinion of the wider community of the Gold Coast, not just one special needs group.”

Tate says he is passionate about big tourism infrastructure projects like the cruise ship terminal, a second casino and cultural precinct.

“The conversation now on the cruise ship terminal is not about whether we have one, it is about where we have one,” he says.

“I can tell you, (Miami) is the largest [cruise ship terminal] in the world and what they are doing is they are investing another $2 billion into this industry.

“What that tells me is their view is this industry is going to grow and if we don’t do anything about it here on the Gold Coast, that industry is going to sail right past us and we won’t get any benefit from it.

“The time is now, if we sit back and do nothing, mark my words – Brisbane will invest in their cruise ship terminal and I have been there and it is a disgrace, it is embarrassing.

“The Gold Coast has an opportunity to put our city on the map.”

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