Locals and key stakeholders have taken the first steps towards shaping the future of the Southport Spit, attending a masterplan workshop over the weekend.
Over 50 community members kicked off a series of workshops at the Seaworld Conference Centre on Saturday to discuss their preferred vision for the future of The Spit.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick said he was appreciative for being giving up their time to share their community values, desired attributes and future ideas for an iconic part of Queensland.
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“I am grateful for the time people have dedicated to attend, it shows a great sense of community spirit and pride” Mr Dick said.
“It’s clear through the enthusiasm of the attendees that these people are best placed to contribute to forming a vison for the future for The Spit.”
Gold Coast Acting Mayor, Councillor Donna Gates said Gold Coasters placed strong value on the Spit and its future conservation.
“The area needs a masterplan and has needed one for decades. Given it is State land, I welcome these workshops and am keen to ensure they result in action,’’ Cr Gates said.
“The idea of a central park has been proposed and I know Council, through its recycled water scheme, is willing to provide quality recycled water to allow the entire Spit to be kept green for everyone to enjoy.
”My strong desire is to ensure there are firm actions at the end of this lengthy community consultation and that the result is what the community wants.’’
Gold Coast Waterways Authority board chair Mara Bun said that waterways are complex environments requiring responsible management and nowhere is this clearer than on The Spit.
“One of my Board’s highest priorities is to place a greater focus on sustainable, integrated waterways management,” Ms Bun said.
“The Spit Master Plan is therefore about planning for the waterways as well as the land and it’s important that we recognise the economic opportunities for all residents and visitors whilst sustaining environmental values well into the future.”
Mr Dick said the weekend’s workshop wasn’t the first step in hearing what the Gold Coast community wanted for the Spit.
“During the initial consultation period in February and March, we received more than 2,800 pieces of community feedback through a range of activities including pop up sessions and an online survey,” he said.
“Seventeen pop up sessions were held throughout February and March at key locations across the Gold Coast.
“Over the two month period, more than 880 community members attended sessions to provide their input and ask questions.
“Having community members have their say at the pop up sessions or via the online survey has been a vital step in the master planning process,” Mr Dick said.
“The feedback provided has helped us understand the community’s appreciation of current conditions, opportunities and challenges and, importantly, aspirations for the future of The Spit.
The remaining workshops will be held over three weekends in mid-July, late November and in early 2019.