A PROTEST rallying against the proposed controversial sale of the Surfers Paradise Transit Centre and Bruce Bishop car park will go ahead next Wednesday.
The sale of the site will fund a new bridge to the Isle of Capri, and the city’s new Cultural Centre at Evandale.
Former Gold Coast City Councillor Eddy Sarroff is heading the rally and said the block of land was gifted to the council in 1938 in a deed arrangement which stipulated it be preserved as a recreational reserve.
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Mayor Tom Tate said the ancient legal obligation to preserve the land is now extinguished, but Council will guarantee the intention of the gift will be honoured.
An equal open space area must be included in any new development.
It would also have to provide 640 public car spaces, the current maximum daily average used, as well as an extra 100 for community groups such as the RSL and charities.
Mr Sarroff said it is essential for local businesses that the Bruce Bishop Car Park capacity of 1600 spaces be retained.
“The community hasn’t given its blessing for the sale of public assets,” he told MyGC.
“The council should listen to the voice of the community.”
Mr Sarroff said 700 people rallied when the council previously tried to sell the Transit Centre.
“Today the community is telling the council to take their eyes off the public land, we need the 1600 parks and the council should seek alternative funding.”
- Do you think council should sell off the Surfers Paradise Transit Centre & Bruce Bishop car park to fund new city projects? Click here to have your say.
The mayor, speaking to myGC from China on Friday, said the sale of an ageing asset which carries significant maintenance costs, would deliver much-needed infrastructure to the city without borrowing, or increasing rates.
The 1000 parking spots not being used would be relocated to the new Cultural Precinct at Evandale.
“You’re basically moving those car parks from one location to another which all Gold Coasters and tourists can access,” he said.
“The other residual part of the sale is that it would help fund the second bridge to Island of Capri which we really need.
“If I can get all that done and get all that benefit through the sale of the Transit Centre then all the extra infrastructure is not an added burden to ratepayer so I can maintain low rates for the whole of the Gold Coast at CPI or less and that is the whole strategy of taking this path to sell the Transit Centre.”
The Mayor also wants to see more people using the light rail and other public transport, instead of driving into the heart of the tourist strip.
Mr Sarroff will lead the protest outside council chambers on Wednesday as full council votes on the proposal to sell the Transit Centre.
The former mayoral candidate insists he is not using next week’s rally as a launching platform for yet another run at office for Division 7.
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