‘Turbo-charged’ cableway for Coast Hinterland
MAYOR Tom Tate has announced an ambitious plan to make the Gold Coast Hinterland cableway a reality.
The massive tourism project has been caught up in red tape and controversy for two decades, but Cr Tate claims he has a solution.
Council is investigating building the cableway between Mudgeeraba and Springbrook, with towers to be built on small parcels of land, to be bought from the State Government.
Cr Tate's idea already has the backing of some of the city's most powerful figures, including tourism boss Paul Donovan.
The route and ultimate cost of the project are not known, but previous proposals have come with a price tag of $100 million.
Cr Tate has commissioned council chief executive Dale Dickson to investigate the project and bring a report to city leaders early next year.
"This is the last year before an election and normally politicians would adopt a small-target strategy and do very little, so they get less criticism and get re-elected... But I'm not normal when it comes to politics," he said.
"I will turbocharge the infrastructure, especially in the realms of tourism and I see us looking at finally having a cableway up to the Hinterland.
"This will open up the whole community, including for those people with mobility issues who cannot walk on the tracks - this would let them be among the trees like in Avatar."
Cr Tate said he would look to have the cableway deemed a transport project, rather than a tourism attraction, with a plan for council to obtain small pieces of land along the eventual route where pylons would be placed.
Once completed the council would then lease the infrastructure to a private company to operate.
Cr Tate said a cableway would create a much-needed transport link to the Hinterland, while also servicing as a major attraction.
"This is a transport issue which gives us the right and ability to acquire pads of land along the corridor," he said
"It will be a piece of transport infrastructure - it is not a theme park novelty.
"There will be options for different routes, which will be taken to council and go out to an expression of interest.
"Before this progresses there will be a full investigation and I want my colleagues on board."
The proposal comes four years after the last serious attempt to make the long-stalled idea a reality.
In 2014 a consortium of businessmen including Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens unveiled Gold Coast Skyride, but the project was shelved in 2015 after the Palaszczuk Government was elected.
The Mayor's new proposal is not connected with this previous push.
Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates, whose electorate the cableway would be built in, said there was overwhelming support from locals.
"Two years ago I did a poll of the electorate and of the 1500 responses I received, 78 per cent of residents who responded were in favour as long as it stacks up economically and environmentally," she said.
"We have never seen a business case on one so if the mayor is prepared to investigate this then it could be a good thing."
It comes six months after business leaders began agitating the State Government to reconsider support for a cableway.
Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan said it was "essential" to the city's future.
"We need this - we cannot just sit on our hands," he said.