Mayor accused of back flip on sale of Bruce Bishop car park

Opponents of the proposed sale of the Bruce Bishop Car Park in Surfers Paradise have accused Mayor Tom Tate of reversing his stand on the future of the only publicly owned car park in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

A public protest rally will be held on Tuesday afternoon as local business people mobilise to block the sale.

The rally, organised by the newly formed Save Surfers Paradise group, will be held in the park on top of Bruce Bishop from 1:00pm.


Spokesperson Deborah Kelly said if the car park is lost, the price of parking in Surfers Paradise will skyrocket.

“It will be a lot more expensive than it is today at $2.50 per hour maximum,” she told MyGC.

“It’ll be $15 or $20 an hour, and it will be used up by the new development, it’s just not possible to give any parking back to Surfers once that site is re-developed.”

Opponents of the move have accused Mayor Tom Tate of doing a back flip on his earlier stand against the sale of the facility.

They say in 2004 the now Mayor was a staunch opponent of selling off the car park.

Mr Tate told the Gold Coast Bulletin the council was edging toward less public car parking which he said at the time was “unacceptable for Surfers Paradise businesses”.

“Leave the transit centre alone. They always target Surfers Paradise, this reeks of wrongdoing,” he said in an article on 24 November.

In July the next year, he reaffirmed his stand, again telling The Bulletin that losing 600 car parks in the heart of Surfers Paradise “is a terrible blow to traders and detrimental to everyone’s business.”

Council voted in May 2017 to sell the Surfers Paradise Transit Centre and adjoining 1600-space car park to help pay for future city projects, including the cultural precinct and a new bridge to the Isle Of Capris.

The Save Surfers Paradise group formally contested the decision last week under section 268 of the Local Government Act.

Concerned local residents and businesses are being encouraged to protest against the sale of the Bruce Bishop Car Park at a Public Rally on Tuesday 25 July at 1pm.

Mayor Tom Tate has been approached for comment.