People power defeats plan for controversial Gold Coast servo

UPDATE 9:13AM 7/9/16 | City of Gold Coast has voted down a plan to build a service station close to homes on the Gold Coast Highway at Mermaid Beach.

On Tuesday 14 Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the petrol station application.

Resident Edwina Roberts has fought hard to make sure this development did not go ahead.


She said on Wednesday “the residents are relieved that their families have been saved from living with daily toxic fuel fumes which can cause health issues, additional traffic in the narrow side streets, lights shining into their homes at night, the threat of service station robberies and the list goes on”.

The applicant wanted the service station to operate 24/7.

Ms Roberts added “the Councillors have upheld one of the goals of our city plan which is to protect the public amenity from nuisances such as lighting, noise, fumes, emissions, traffic & inappropriate

“The other goals include reducing emissions to protect the environment, reduce traffic, increase public transport, increase population density & retain the character of areas
such as this beachside suburb.

“I feel for any ratepayer trying to protect their land and fight against a developer who has a lot of money & the professionals working for them.

“I had 8 months to fight this before the objection period closed because I found out about it accidentally, normally you only get 28 days notification to launch a protest and there’s no way I could have been successful in that time.

She went on to say “it takes its toll fighting for the rights of the community, it is stressful, time consuming & expensive but I survived with the strong support of the community”.

She said she couldn’t have done this without the support of the community who submitted 270 objections and signed a petition which in the end attracted 1769 signatures.

Ms Roberts added local Councillor Paul Taylor supported us from the start to finish and represented us perfectly in the meeting on Tuesday.

Finally she thanked the local mermaid beach association, which she said was very proactive.

EARLIER 3:17PM 31/8/16 | A plan to build a petrol station close to homes at Mermaid Beach has sparked a lengthy debate at a council meeting.

Several residents protested outside council chambers at Evandale on Wednesday morning.

Organiser Edwina Roberts said the service station, should it be approved, would border two sides of her property.

The plan is to build it on a site at the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Seaside Avenue.  It would be open 24 hours under the current application.

Ms Roberts said she has owned the house for around 20 years after buying off relatives.

“My grandfather lived there so it has been in the family for over 60 years.

“Around 15 months ago I accidentally found out that United Petroleum intended to lease the site for 40 years from the owner.

“I have been rallying the community ever since to understand the dangers this will bring to their health and safety and how it will impact their lives in terms of traffic, lighting, noise, smell, crime, property values.

“The implications are far reaching, United ignored my attempts to contact them, the owners would not change their minds” she said.

Ms Roberts stopped Councillor Hermann Vorster as he made his way inside, and explained why it was so important to her that the development not go ahead.

Councillor Vorster listened to what Ms Roberts had to say, including that she didn’t think this proposal was in line with the City Plan.

Resident Edwina Roberts speaking to Councillor Hermann Vorster. Image: Michelle Price my gc

Resident Edwina Roberts speaking to Councillor Hermann Vorster. Image: Michelle Price my gc

He replied that “from my perspective, this sits on the Gold Coast Light Rail corridor, so I don’t want to be encouraging car use on that corridor and that’s precisely what a petrol station will do”.

Inside the debate went on for a long time, with Councillor Paul Taylor (pictured below), Hermann Vorster and Donna Gates all raising concerns.

Councillor Paul Taylor is opposed to the development. Image: Michelle Price my gc

Councillor Paul Taylor is opposed to the development. Image: Michelle Price my gc

Councillor Gates questioned whether another service station was needed in the area in question, saying there are five within a three kilometre radius of each other already.

Mayor Tom Tate asked for more time to consider the application.  It will be debated again at a council meeting next Tuesday.

Edwina also created a petition, which at last check, had attracted 1,759 signatures.