SAVE SURFERS PARADISE
Save Surfers Paradise Inc. has been formed to focus on the issues affecting business and residents in Surfers Paradise, of which the most urgent is the recent hasty GCCC decision to sell the 1,640 space Bruce Bishop Car Park – 40% of central Surfers parking! The decision was taken without any consultation with those who will be most damaged by it.
The Steering Committee, made up of prominent, long term Gold Coast business people and local residents, believe the Council decision to sell the Bruce Bishop Car Park has not been properly considered and has serious ramifications for the tourism industry, for all commercial property and business owners in Surfers Paradise, for the Surfers Paradise workforce and for residents as well.
In addition to pursuing a Court challenge, the group is rallying community support to convince the City of Gold Coast to overturn their decision.
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Words from some of the Steering Committee
“Back in the early 1990s, the Gold Coast City Council took a forward-thinking decision to construct the Bruce Bishop car park to meet the current parking needs in central Surfers Paradise and provide capacity for future population and business growth in Surfers Paradise. It is a vital piece of infrastructure that must be retained. Selling it will send many businesses broke and will mean the loss of cheap parking for both business and leisure visitors to Surfers.”
NB. Rider Hunt Queensland were the Quantity Surveyors on the construction of the Bruce Bishop Car Park & Transit Centre
"A preliminary consideration of the legal issues involved indicate very strong grounds for successful legal challenge. The Bruce Bishop car park was largely funded through a car parking trust fund that collected millions of dollars from property owners and developers as contributions to provide parking at Bruce Bishop park in lieu of providing the required number of car parking spaces on their own land, as required under the City’s Planning Scheme. There are strong legal precedents establishing that where monetary contributions are collected in this manner, a trust for car parking purposes is created at law and binds the land, which means that it cannot be sold or developed for other purposes.”
"To sell such a crucial asset without public consultation (the area Councillor was not consulted) is an act of economic vandalism that reeks of ignorance and complete disregard for those that live and work in Surfers Paradise. The construction of the car park was contributed to by businesses and developers over time and is a crucial asset of the city. The light rail has negatively impacted the economy of Surfers Paradise on a scale not anticipated by its promoters and this latest decision will be another blow to to an already embattled precinct."
“Surfers Paradise is a key driver in the Gold Coast economy. It is a hub of diverse business and entrepreneurial activity that extends far beyond tourism. Ample conveniently located and competitively priced parking is essential to support all businesses, by providing parking for customers, clients and staff, as well as tourists and local visitors. The removal of any public parking spaces is a serious threat to the ongoing economic viability of the Precinct. It’s a short-sighted decision that must be opposed.”
“As a long time Surfers Paradise resident, I know that selling the car park will be disastrous for the town. Local residents will find that street parking will be constantly full, even in residential areas like Paradise Island, Budds Beach and Chevron Island. Many locals living right in central Surfers also rely on this car park, especially in peak times and during events like Schoolies and Gold Coast 600 when streets are closed off for days on end. The loss of the Neal Shannon Park will also be strongly felt by locals.”
“Council wants to destroy his [Charles Joseph Hicks] gift just to bolster their short-term budget position, swapping his legacy for an Arts Centre and bridge building project of their own desire. It will bring into question the council’s integrity, honesty and trustworthiness. Which right minded citizen will ever again donate such a valuable parcel of land to the city?”