Plans for a dive site off the Gold Coast have taken another step forward with designs released for what’s promised to be a ‘world first’ attraction.
The original idea of a pyramid-shaped dive site has been thrown out, replaced by nine buoyant ‘sculptural reef flutes’ individually tethered to the seafloor off the Spit by reinforced concrete.
The contract to build the project has been awarded to Australian company Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd.
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Subcon Technologies CEO Matthew Allen says the Gold Coast site will be a world-first design.
“It’s actually a really unique fusion of engineering, science and art to create a whole new ecosystem off the Gold Coast,” Mr Allen said.
“When people go diving they really want to see fish life and we’ve brought lots of technology together in this reef to create something that’s really iconic.”
Mayor Tom Tate says the design is ‘quintessential Gold Coast.’
“The Gold Coast is known for delivering many world firsts and this floating reef will take its place as an iconic eco-tourism experience unrivalled on a global scale,” Mayor Tate said.
“It’s designed to attract marine life, and what are we diving down to do? We’re not going down to look at sand, we’re going down to enjoy the wonderful mother nature of marine life and the thrill of diving that we’ll all get to share.”
It will only take 20 minutes for divers to reach the site by boat from the Broadwater.
Six of the dive buoys will be reserved for commercial operators and the other three for private divers who can book a dive time through Council.
Local diver Ian Banks says he can’t wait for it to be up and running.
“It’s got so much potential and it’ll take time to build certain life but once it’s functioning it will be well sought out.”
Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon said the cost would be equally split by the government and council and was expected to attract 16,600 new visitors and more than $2 million in annual overnight visitor expenditure.
“We’re investing in new tourism attractions for the Coast that we know will attract more tourists and create local jobs,” she said.
Ms Scanlon said the artificial dive site was expected to create 18 jobs during construction and 82 jobs once operational.
WATCH: How the proposed dive site off the Gold Coast will look –