The development hook has been baited and the line cast at The Spit on the Gold Coast.
Carter’s Basin, the long-standing home of Queensland’s last remaining fishing co-op, has been released to the market for a marine tourism development
In a move met with a backlash from the trawler fleet and local community, the Queensland government in conjunction with the Gold Coast City Council has put the fishing and seafood mecca up for tender.
The Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-operative, fearing it was being squeezed out of its home of more than 50 years, has vowed in recent weeks it would fight for its future.
But in announcing the tender process, the government declared the site would remain the fleet’s home and it would gain “renewed and reconfigured berthing facilities” where it could continue to sell its catch.
The Spit has been dormant for more than 20 years since its heady days of development when it became the home to the upmarket Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort and the former Palazzo Versace Hotel.
But under the implementation of The Spit Master Plan, a $1 billion-plus era of new development has dawned.
As well as the $480-million redevelopment of nearby Mariners Cove to accommodate a Ritz Carlton hotel, it includes developer Gordon Corp’s $300-million Mantaray Marina and Residences—incorporating a 67-berth superyacht marina and exclusive members-only on-water lounge—and Makris Group’s $500-million revamp of its Marina Mirage retail and dining precinct.
▲ An aerial view of the Carter’s Basin site and the long-standing home of the Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-operative on The Spit. Source: Nearmap
Significant interest is expected in the Carter’s Basin site fronting the Broadwater, south of Sea World.
Overall, it comprises about 7000sq m of leasable land and a 20,000sq m seabed lease.
The government is seeking expressions of interest for proposals that include “a new commercial marina and associated landside facilities, catering to commercial, fishing fleet and marine tourism outcomes, within a mixed-use development”.
“The Spit is one of the Gold Coast’s most iconic attractions and we know there’s even more potential to unlock its immense opportunities,” state development and infrastructure minister Grace Grace said.
“We’re now seizing this opportunity and want to partner with industry to support marine tourism ventures on the Gold Coast.
“This is an opportunity for a world-class commercial marina with more berths, along with a seafood and marine tourism hub.
“I’m also very pleased that under our plan, Carter’s Basin will continue to be the home to the local fishing fleet.”
The future of the neighbouring Peter’s Fish Market, which has been trading on The Spit for more than 30 years, also had been secured through a deed of development, which includes plans for a new two-storey premises overlooking the Broadwater.
“This will be a thorough and rigorous tender process and we’ll work closely with the council to ensure we get the market’s very best proposals, helping to realise the outcomes in the masterplan,” Grace said.