Selling off our beaches

IS nothing sacred anymore?

The Gold Coast City Council is about to wrap up a month-long survey into what commercial operations will be allowed to set up business on our wonderful, relaxing beaches.

Let’s be clear, this is not a survey to ask whether the Gold Coast should have business activities on the beach.


Because that, it seems, has already been decided.

“Consultation will determine what sort of business activities the community wants on the city’s beaches and how they should be managed,” said the Council’s media release.

“After considering the community’s views, the City will develop a management plan for commercial activities on ocean beaches, to be presented to Council in June 2014.”

Not surprisingly, tourism operators and traders have come out strongly in support of leasing public assets to make lots and lots of money.

Apparently international tourists expect that sort of thing now.

If international tourists expected us to jump off a cliff would we?

Why does absolutely everything have to be about making money on the Gold Coast?

Once we go there it’s a very slippery slope down the sand dune.

The Council’s website spiel – – talks about coffee vendors or hire companies perhaps selling their wares.

But some over-excited restaurateurs are already talking about setting up cafes and kiosks in the sand.

Will they be selling alcohol?

Will there be waiters and food hawkers dodging in and out of sunbakers?

Will sections of the beach be roped off for sun lounge rentals?

Will we be assaulted by crass billboards and signs?

There are European beaches where you can rent out cute little cabins to change your clothes and sunbake on rented lounges as waiters bring you frighteningly expensive drinks.

And there is definitely a very clear division on those beaches of the ‘haves’ and the ‘haves not’.

Do we want to see that sort of segregation on our beaches?

Some people are suggesting Surfers Paradise beach would be an ideal spot to start off – because apparently all those cafes and fast food joints along Cavill Ave are not making enough money as it is.

You have until Monday, April 14 to have your say in the Council’s online survey –




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