STAGE one of community consultation is now complete for the $5 billion proposed Broadwater Marine Project, with ASF Consortium set to present their initial findings to the City of Gold Coast this Friday.
The consortium will then table community and council feedback at a meeting with state government on Monday, May 5.
Consultation activities included an awareness campaign to share information about the proposal and a statistically valid Newspoll phone survey and focus groups.
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It also included the provision of self-selecting online and phone feedback mechanisms to ensure all Gold Coast residents could share their views.
Project Director for ASF Consortium, Allan Fife said more than 4,000 people visited the project website and a wide range of views had been shared online and via the project phone line.
“We see this as a great response and have welcomed all feedback on our proposal,” said Allan Fife.
“We were required to undertake this initial consultation within a very tight time-frame, which we’ve done in response to Queensland Government requirements. It’s important to understand that this is the first step in consultation only.
“We look forward to meeting with the City of Gold Coast Mayor and Councillors this Friday to share the findings from initial consultation and discuss next likely stages of assessment.”
The initial consultation sought to understand Gold Coast residents’ level of support for the conceptual plan in order that it may proceed with the next stage of analysis and consultation to shape the final outcome.
Mr Fife said the project was still in its early stages and required further environmental and technical studies and extensive consultation before the master plan could be finalised.
The consortium will be required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as the project proceeds, which will predict the environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts (beneficial and adverse) of the project to the satisfaction of authorities before any planning approval or construction can commence.
The EIS process also identifies mitigation measures that may be applied to effectively manage any potentially adverse impacts arising from the project, providing a sound basis for effective and sustainable development.
“This is a rigorous process involving all levels of government and can take between 12-18 months,” said Allan Fife.
“The community will be given the opportunity to comment on the Terms of Reference prior to any EIS starting and ongoing community consultation and periods of public comment will be required, enabling us to refine and present a more detailed master plan,” he said.
The EIS process that must be followed by ASF Consortium will provide:
- For decision-makers and other stakeholders, a basis for understanding the project, the need for the project, the alternatives, the environmental values that it may affect and the impacts that may occur and the measures to be taken to manage those impacts
- Assistance and guidance for the detailed engineering phases of the project in avoiding potential impacts where possible and identifying appropriate management measures for unavoidable impacts
- An outline of the effects of the project on the area, including access for groups or persons with rights or interests in the land
- A demonstration of how environmental impacts can be managed through the protection and enhancement of environmental values. Through the EIS process, an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) which describes strategies for the management of potential
impacts that may occur during establishment, development, construction and operational stages of the project is prepared
- Opportunities for input by stakeholders and decision-makers into the environmental management and monitoring programs
- A framework against which decision makers can consider the environmental aspects of the project in view of legislative and policy provisions, in order to determine if the project can proceed or not. Also, as appropriate, conditions of approval can be set to ensure
environmentally sound development and, where required by legislation, recommend environmental management and monitoring.