Opponents of the proposed sale of the Bruce Bishop Car Park in Surfers Paradise are gearing up for today’s public protest rally.
The rally, organised by the Save Surfers Paradise group, will be held in the Neil Shannon Park on top of Bruce Bishop from 1:00pm.
Organiser Deborah Kelly said there’ll be major parking issues in Surfers Paradise and surrounding areas if the Council succeeds in selling the facility.
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City of Gold Coast said 740 spaces will be available for public parking at the end of the redevelopment period.
However Ms Kelly told MyGC while the site is being developed, the heart of the tourist strip will be a nightmare.
“There will be zero parking at the site, zero, for at least three years while the site is redeveloped,” she said.
“So during that period we will have no parking in Surfers.
“We get 8 million day trippers a year into the Gold Coast, and almost all of them come by car, they need parking, staff in Surfers need parking, hundreds of them every day.”
Mayor Tom Tate was unavailable for comment when approached by MyGC for an interview.
However, in July 2005 the now Mayor told the Gold Coast Bulletin the transit centre should be left alone.
“We won’t wear it,” he said.
“Losing 600 car parks in the heart of Surfers Paradise is a terrible blow to traders and detrimental to everyone’s business.”
Mr Tate said the council’s car park usage figures were flawed and they should seek a second opinion.
LNP Member for Surfers Paradise, John-Paul Langbroek, said the move to sell the car park was a very short-term decision which would have long-term consequences for the city.
“We have issues like the Hilton Hotel where residents and short-term holiday makers are often put into the Bruce Bishop car park,” he said.
“Not everyone can catch light rail.
“Built car spaces are very, very hard to find, and I’m concerned that the parking situation will end up deteriorating in Surfers Paradise which would be a disincentive to come into the area for people who have a vehicle.”