THE Spit on the Gold Coast will be transformed into ‘Central Park by the sea’, it has been revealed.
The Queensland Government on Sunday unveiled a blueprint to transform the reserve into ‘Australia’s newest, biggest and best Ocean Park’.
The draft Master Plan divides The Spit into seven precincts, with almost 140 hectares of The Spit’s 201 hectares set aside for “park activities” while 4000 square metres will be set aside for a restored littoral rainforest.
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The blueprint includes a super yacht marina, underwater sculpture garden, dive site and a ‘selfie tower ‘ to allow visitors to capture the best shots of the Gold Coast skyline.
Walkways and cycleways will also be improved and extended along the entire length of the park, while all of The Spit’s current features, including the kiosk, marine rescue and boat ramps, will be retained and improved.
The plan also includes an option for a cruise ship terminal and light rail spur line to Sea World.
While parts of the park are earmarked for sensitive commercial development, any new buildings will be restricted to a three-storey limit as promised.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the ‘Ocean Park’ will rival the best parks in the world, including New York’s Central Park (340 hectares) and Hyde Park in London (142 hectares).
The Premier said the open space areas will be more than eight times the size of Brisbane’s South Bank parklands, and 12 times the size of the public spaces in Barangaroo, Sydney.
“And the Gold Coast Ocean Park has something none of them have – the Broadwater and the surf,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Our plans will make this not just a jewel of the Gold Coast but for the entire state.”
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the blueprint follows 18 months of community consultation and was a “once-in-a-lifetime” plan “designed by the community for the community”.
More than 2500 people attended consultation sessions and more than 21,100 pieces of feedback was received throughout the consultation period.
As part of the overhaul, The Spit will be divided into seven precincts: the Top of The Spit, Wave Break Island, Federation Walk coastal reserve, Muriel Henchman Park, Village centre, Philip Park, and the Southern Gateway.
Mr Dick said a new entry design to the park at the Southern Gateway would also lend a sense of arrival, with improvements to pedestrian, cycle and road access.
Mayor Tom Tate welcomed the Ocean Park blueprint.
“This is another great example of what can be achieved for the Gold Coast when we work together,” Mr Tate said.
“My council will continue to work with the state government to deliver something really special everyone can be proud of.
“I’ll be urging my council to install the necessary infrastructure in partnership with the local major water users to supply an almost unlimited amount of recycled water to create and maintain a ‘central park’ style green open space for all Gold Coasters to enjoy.”
The blueprint is being released for further discussion before a final plan is released in the coming months. Consultation is open until the end of March.