Is Cruise Terminal Killer Blow for Kirra?
By Kirk Owers | 30 July 2012
Asher Pacey makes hay while the sun shines. Pic: Joli
The Save Kirra campaign has been thrown a curve ball that has the potential to snuff the world’s best sand-bottom point for good. Billionaire Bob Ell wants to turn the southern end of the Gold Coast into a ginormous cruise ship terminal and mass tourist facility. The extraordinary plan, as detailed in the Gold Coast Bulletin last week, includes provisions for three hotels, a casino, three terminal berths, a water park, an underwater observatory, a new North Kirra Surf Club, a beach stadium and a super yacht marina. The cruise ship concept is reported to be envisioned for Tugun and is hoped to also serve as docking point for US navy ships.
The plan appears, to these eyes at least, to be about 300% too evil to ever happen but I don’t pretend to know much about Gold Coast politics. National Surfing Reserves Founder Brad Farmer is taking the threat seriously. “The proposal is for Kirra, not Tugun,” he says. “It would occupy 500 meters of public beach and extend 500 meters out to sea. It would totally disrupt the sand movement along Kirra Beach causing sand accumulate against its long southern wall smothering Kirra and eventually Greenmount beaches and their surf.”
Holy mother of god! An artist's impression of the proposed terminal.
“On the northern side North Kirra-Bilinga-Tugun and all beaches to the north would start to erode, starved of the natural sand movement from the south. The three-berth shipping terminal and 500 berth marina would also generate massive boat traffic in the area, including the large passenger liners. Its environmental and social impacts would be massive.”
Lois Levy, president of the Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council, says it is one of six plans for a cruise ship terminal currently being considered by the new Gold Coast mayor, Tom Tate. “Most people who live in the south of the city chose to do so because they appreciate the natural environment and they would like it to remain that way,” Levy says. “Other issues identified for the Bilinga proposal include the impact on ocean dynamics including the south- north long-shore sand drift. A sand bypass system would be necessary- who would pay for that? Gold Coasters already pay for the Tweed and Spit bypass systems. It would mean resumption of private property and alienation of public land as well as severe disruption to the multi-million dollar surfing industry.”
Given that Tom Tate has assured the KPI (Kirra Point Incorporated) that he’s in favour of rebuilding the Kirra Point groyne in order to get the much loved wave working again we can have some hope that common sense will prevail. It’d be worthwhile sending him an email or 3000 though. You’ll find him here: firstname.lastname@example.orgNote: You might think the terminal's a good idea? Either way leave comment below.