Gold Coast Council to sell Bruce Bishop Car Park for $48 million

Gold Coast Council is set to sell the Bruce Bishop Car Park in Surfers Paradise despite a corruption investigation and Supreme Court action.

It’s been revealed Council now has a preferred bidder for the site and is expected to reap $48 million from the controversial sale.

Today’s Council meeting heard negotiations have been held with two parties over the last six to seven months.


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The intended buyer is Care Park which owns 35 car parks in Australia and operates another 400 worldwide for third parties.

It’s understood the company plans to continue to operate the Bruce Bishop site as a car park for the ‘foreseeable future’ but Planning Committee Chair Cameron Caldwell admits they may opt to develop the site in the future.

“This will mean that car parks that are in Surfers Paradise will be retained and that’s very important for business and we have always recognised that,” Councillor Caldwell told reporters.

“But equally there could well be an exciting development on the horizon which may provide a new stimulus in the centre of Surfers Paradise.”

Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund new projects in the cultural precinct which were also given the green light by Council today.

The sell-off of the car park comes despite a probe by the Crime & Corruption Commission (CCC) and Supreme Court action.

The CCC confirmed it was looking into allegations of corrupt conduct made by some Gold Coast councillors and allegations involving possible conflicts of interest on a range of development matters.

Legal action was also launched by local group Save Surfers Paradise which argued the sale may be unlawful, with a ruling expected in the next few weeks.

Save Surfers Paradise Secretary Deborah Kelly says she was disturbed by today’s development.

“I’m alarmed about that because the matter is before the court and before the CCC,” Ms Kelly said.

“We’ve got to wait for the judge’s decision before they can move forward.”

Ms Kelly also raised concerns about the amount of money that would be raised from the sale.

“If it’s true they’re selling this valuable community asset for $48 million then the ratepayers are really getting ripped off.”

“The replacement value of that asset is probably about $100 million,” Ms Kelly said.

A large portion of today’s Council meeting was held behind closed doors so Councillors could discuss matters that were ‘commercial in confidence’.

When discussion resumed several Councillors including Mayor Tom Tate and Deputy Mayor Donna Gates left the room after declaring a potential conflict of interest.

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How can the council sell something that does not belong to them,they are only the caretakers which manage it on behalf of the Gold Coast citizens and rate payers, something’s does not add up here

I didn’t know it wasn’t council property. Who owns it?

If the carpark was bequeathed to the goldcoast city should it not then be up to the goldcoast ratepayer citizens to make the dicision on a saleto Honour the contract .

Yes! The property belongs to the ratepayers. It does NOT belong to the private enterprise known as Dot.GCCC. Enough of this already!

Not sure who the original owner was when they handed it over to the Gold Coast on the understanding it was never to be developed. As I recall the siblings of the original owner were contacted and they said yes to the car park being built on the land as long as there was still a park on top. I remember as a kid playing in that park and a circus would set up there on school holidays. I suppose not many families raise their kidsl in this area now. As a B and B Gold Coaster I don’t use the car park. Local knowledge still finds me the free ones. One things for sure. My wife and I will never hand over freebies to Authorities on provisions that they don’t do something to it. Let’s hope Currumbin Sanctuary and Fleahs Nature Reserve stand for ever.

This was also proposed by Ron Clarke, but the land turned out to be bequeathed by a local family for the purposes of the park which is now on the roof. At the time a family member still living in the area said they would fight for its return if the park was removed and Clarke dropped the plan. What has changed?