Australian Community is Divided after Plans for a Resort are Terminated
After the government of Queensland shut down plans for a resort casino on the Spit, the community has been debating on what to do with the land. When the plans released, the local community was upset about the decision after the plans. Soon after that, the government decided to terminate the contract with Chinese consortium ASF. The original plan included multiple hotels, casinos, entertainment venues, residential properties, retail shops, and more.
Business groups, community groups, and environmental groups are debating over what the land's use would be. Business groups and community groups are leaning towards retail stores, hotels, casinos, etc. while the environmental groups would like to see the area become park space to preserve the wild life that is there. The industry groups are encouraging the government to turn the land into developed space that can advance the economy.
Mr. Martin Brady, the president of the Gold Coast North Chamber of Commerce, is hopeful that the area will turn into a hot spot for entertainment and retail activities alike. He also added that the Gold Coast hadn't seen any new tourist infrastructure since the Commonwealth games, so developing on the land would help to attract more visitors, and help to further improve the economy in the state. Mr. Brady was sure to mention that Queensland is not “the only place in the world has beaches,” so the community needs to remain competitive and appeal to tourists. After the Chamber of Commerce had found that the plan for a resort and casino complex would have created around 13,000 jobs, Mr. Brady expressed concerns about how to build that many jobs with other options for the land. He feels the need to train up more citizens in careers like hospitality.
Environmental groups have an entirely different vision for the Gold Coast Spit. They have created the Save Our Spit Alliance which ran a campaign that protested the project. This alliance urged the government to drop the previous project, and consider the land for preservation and parks. They also mentioned that leaving the dunes intact helps nature to take care of itself without the aid of humans. It would also contribute to preserving a substantial portion of Australia’s natural wildlife because developing on the land would ruin homes of many animals.
Despite the arguments from environmental groups, the land is still looking at a possible development. It might even be a lot like the original plan but smaller. These groups will continue to debate until the community makes a decision. Until then, the land will remain empty.