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Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019

February 19, 2020

Ms SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (12.55 pm): I rise to speak in support of the Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019. As a born and bred Gold Coaster, it probably comes as no surprise that I spent a lot of my childhood at the Spit, whether getting every last dollar out of our Sea World annual pass, eating chips from Peter's Fish Market while sitting on the beach or, in later years, having drinks with friends at Fisherman's Wharf Tavern, known by most as Fishos. For my entire life, the Spit has been the site of conflict over competing views of what the future of it should look like. 

In August 2017, the Premier sought to bring that period of hostility to an end by announcing that a re-elected Palaszczuk Labor government would develop a new master plan for that piece of land, which would include ensuring that building height limits would not exceed three stories and that the open public space to the north of Sea World would be preserved for future generations. Given the history of the project, we knew that extensive consultation would be needed to get the balance right. I think it is fair to say that, with over 23,000 individual pieces of feedback received, the plan was well and truly designed by the community for the community. The master plan strikes a balance between preserving the much loved natural assets of the site, while also enhancing the tourism and recreational opportunities such as boosting Sea World's attraction and activating vacant and under-utilised land by providing certainty to developers, investors and the community. 

Last year I was pleased to join the Premier, the Deputy Premier and the minister for state development and planning to announce that the Queensland government was committing $60 million towards infrastructure projects to progress its implementation, along with a significant $50 million investment from Village Roadshow and $35 million from the City of Gold Coast. This master plan secures the future of 138 hectares of green space, unlocks the potential for up to 1,800 new jobs, provides for up to 800 new short-term accommodation rooms and creates vibrant community spaces and outstanding natural areas. Our initial focus will be on the community infrastructure projects at the top of the Spit, including the design, scoping and delivery of improvements to the seaway promenade; community infrastructure works, including extensive new planting, new pathways and recreational facilities; and Seaworld Drive shared pathways linking the Muriel Henchman precinct to Doug Jennings Park. Planning and design works have started on the Seaworld Drive pathway and the projects are due for completion by November this year. 

We are well and truly getting on with the job, contrary to what those opposite are saying. It is this government that has committed funding to that important piece of land. It is also this government that is investing on the Gold Coast, whether it is our four M1 upgrades; the light rail stage 1, 2 and 3; or the dive site on Main Beach. We are investing when those opposite failed to contribute new money for the Gold Coast, despite the incredible growth. 

Ms SCANLON (2.00 pm), continuing: As I was saying, Labor governments deliver for the Spit. This is in stark contrast to the LNP's plan under Campbell Newman who wanted high-rise development with no clear transport or road strategy and no genuine community consultation. We are getting on with the job with this bill by streamlining the process for the granting of particular interests in land and road closures in the master plan area to accelerate this site release and expanding the Gold Coast Waterways Authority's roles, scope and capabilities to enable it to deliver the capital works program in which we have invested.

This bill also seeks to clarify the intended scope of the compensation rights under the Planning Act 2016 in relation to an adverse planning change and includes transitional arrangements to ensure that affected owners who may have been unable to claim compensation as a result of the current provisions may do so within six months of the commencement. 

The Spit Master Plan provides a clear example of what can be achieved when you provide clear leadership and take the community with you. I think it speaks volumes about this government's consultative process that we have people with opposing views coming together to support this master plan. I commend this bill to the House.