Pop Up Protest #2 – Cableway NoRay

Hinterland residents mount ‘pop-up’ Cableway protest outside MP Ray Stevens’ office

Opponents of the cableway project stage a pop-up rally outside the electorate office of M

Opponents of the cableway project stage a pop-up rally outside the electorate office of Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens. Picture: Jerad Williams

MORE than a dozen hinterland residents opposed to the cableway have begun staging a pop-up protest outside the electorate office of Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens.

Residents began gathering outside the MP’s office on the Gold Coast Highway just before 7.30am and plan to continue their protest during the morning.

Mr Stevens and his staffers had yet to arrive but the protest sparked support from pedestrians and the attention of motorists driving north to Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise in the peak hour traffic.

Opponents of the cableway project protest outside the office of Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stev

Opponents of the cableway project protest outside the office of Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens. Picture: Jerad Williams

“Where is Ray,” a local resident on a morning walk asked the protest group which immediately sparked a chant from the cableway opponents.

They were holding placards with various slogans including “Don’t let Ray take you for a ride” and “trees not towers”.

Cableway No Way group spokesman Ceris Ash said the pop-protest was organised to alert voters in the Mermaid Beach electorate about the hinterland proposal by their MP.

Mr Stevens told Parliament in late October last year that he was part of a consortium which planned a $100 million cableway on a 9km route to Springbrook.

Despite numerous requests from the Bulletin, the Leader of the House has refused to provide details of correspondence between himself and the Integrity Commissioner about the project.

Opponents raise signs in opposition to the Hinterland cableway project outside the office

Opponents raise signs in opposition to the Hinterland cableway project outside the office of Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens. Picture: Jerad Williams

Cableway No Way spokesman Ceris Ash said opponents would continue to ask Mr Stevens to release details of the letters.

“The majority of proposed route is on State-owned land including the World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park and the Hinze and Little Nerang dams,” Ms Ash said.

“Ray is the face of Skyrail. We’ve decided to come down to his electorate. This would seem to a huge conflict of interest yet he will not release the advice form the Integrity Commissioner. Why is he hiding.”

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/queensland-state-election-2015/hinterland-residents-mount-pop-up-cableway-protest-outside-mp-ray-stevens-office/story-fnr8vz6s-1227190459094

Gary Pead (ALP Mermaid candidate) on the cableway

From Gary Pead’s website:

The LNP’s Ray Stevens continues to treat the Mermaid Beach electorate with contempt in our Meet the Candidate radio interview today on the ABC Gold Coast’s Mornings program.

He still refuses to release the integrity commissioners report about his private development project into the Gold Coast’s World Heritage listed National Park in Springbrook.

The proposed Springbrook cableway was rejected as being unviable and unsuitable 16 years ago. It was reported that the original failed project was intended to be sold off to overseas interests as soon as it was approved so that developers could make a quick buck. What’s stopping Ray Stevens doing the same if he is re-elected? Absolutely nothing. He isn’t interested in its viability, Gold Coast tourism, sustainability or whether it’s even appropriate for Springbrook.

My stance as a vehement opponent to the development of this World Heritage listed site has not changed, nor has the stance of the majority of the Gold Coast community. This is sheer profiteering by Ray Stevens; an opportunistic grab, using his position as a minister in the state government to secure millions of dollars in profit for himself. This is on top of his obscene parliamentary salary of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

Voters in Mermaid Beach are livid. He must be voted out.

 

Still fighting the same fight: me about to make a speech at the anti-cableway rally I organised in October 2000.

 

Click the link below to hear an excerpt from ABC Gold Coast Mornings program with Nicole Dyer where I call Ray Stevens’ integrity into question.

 

http://www.garypead.com/stevens-to-throw-gc-world-heritage-park-under-the-bus-for-a-quick-buck/

State government tight lipped on tenders for property on proposed $100m cable car route

It is great to see that the cableway has become an election issue.


 

The property formerly known as Springbrook Mountain Manor at Springbook.

The property formerly known as Springbrook Mountain Manor at Springbook.

THE Newman Government has received two tender applications for a property in the path of a proposed $100 million cable car development but refuses to say if either is linked to one of its own MPs.

Parks Minister Steve Dickson declined to identify the applicants bidding for Springbrook Mountain Manor, but it is understood one is from the Gold Coast.

The boutique hotel on 10ha was purchased for $2.5 million by the State Government in 2007 but First National Real Estate Mudgeeraba sales agent Murray Duthie said it could be worth up to $4 million if the cable car went ahead.

The cable car is proposed by Gold Coast Skyride, a company in which Gold Coast LNP MP Ray Stevens is an investor and adviser.

The property has been on the market for two months.

Harcourts selling agent Julie Andrews, who confirmed two tender applications had been received, said she had been silenced by the State Government until the election was over.

“We can’t actually move forward until after the election,” she said.

“The Campbell Newman Government has put everything in caretaker mode and we can’t reveal anything.

“Two tenders have been received; one from an interstate buyer and another from a local on the Gold Coast.”

The property formerly known as Springbrook Mountain Manor at Springbook.

The property formerly known as Springbrook Mountain Manor at Springbook.

A spokeswoman for Mr Dickson said the identity of applicants could not be revealed as the Government was operating under the “caretaker convention”.

“Details are commercial-in-confidence and part of an ongoing tender process which has been overtaken by the caretaker convention following the issuing of writs for the election,” she said.

The Labor Government purchased 705ha on Springbrook Mountain in 2007 at a cost of $40.15 million to taxpayers.

Most of the land has been turned into national parks but the State Government still owns more than 56ha which is being run by the Rainforest Conservation Society.

Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens declined to comment on issues relating to the proposed cableway and Gold Coast Skyride chairman Terry Jackman did not return multiple calls for comment.

When the property came on the market in November last year Mr Jackman said the cable car group would assess the potential of the site.

 

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/queensland-state-election-2015/state-government-tight-lipped-on-tenders-for-property-on-proposed-100m-cable-car-route/story-fnr8vz6s-1227183009439

Ray, you are not hearing voices

‘Ray, you are not hearing voices’ — A tongue-in-cheek email run down leading up to MP Ray Stevens’ shock cableway announcement

How did it go down with the Premier and Ros Bates when MP Ray Stevens said he was going to revive the cable car project? We have the, very real, email chain.

WHAT was the lead-up to the shock announcement last week in Parliament by Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens that he intended to revive the Naturelink cable car project?

The Leader of the House surprised colleagues by declaring his role as an adviser and investor in the new $100 million Hinterland proposal.

Below is a tongue-in-cheek email trail of the political drama the night before.

 

From: Ray Stevens

Date: 29 October 2014, 6.30pm

To: Campbell Newman

Premier, I wish to formally notify you that I will rise in the House tomorrow to announce a major new project, the first on the Gold Coast for a decade. I am part of a consortium which will build the $100 million Springbrook to Mudgeeraba cable car. Campbell, I’ve been hearing voices. They are saying “Build the skyrail, Ray, and people will come”.

From: Campbell Newman

Date: 29 October 2014, 6.35pm

To: Ray Stevens

People will come, Ray, people will come. They’ll come to Mudgeeraba for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up at your cableway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. People will surely come, Ray. The one constant through all the years on the Gold Coast Ray, has been ­cable car projects.

 

From: Ray Stevens

Date: 29 October 2014, 7.02pm

To: Ros Bates

Dear Ros, as a courtesy, I intend to announce a cableway project in your electorate. You might recall, 16 years ago, with Naturelink I planned using helicopters to drop 12 towers to support the gondolas which went within 100m of World Heritage national park. I concede this did divide the electorate, helped produce numerous No Way Cableway car bumper stickers and effectively gave Labor an 18 per cent swing and the seat. But if I build it, people will come, Ros. Regards Ray.

 

From: Ros Bates

Date: 29 October 2014, 7.04pm

To: Ray Stevens

Ray, you need to realise that I’m only a trained nurse. You have to see a doctor, or a team of doctors. I will arrange for either Dr Alex Douglas and/or Dr Bruce Flegg to attend your parliamentary rooms. Regards Ros.

 

From: Dr Alex Douglas

Date: 29 October 2014, 10.30pm

To: Ros Bates.

Dear Ros, patient is stable, admits to flashbacks, hearing voices and upon examination found to have a severe middle ear infection.

Once resolved, realised “the voices” were, in fact, constituents telling him to “build the light rail, Ray, build the light rail”.

Patient currently resting, was administered with a large glass of red wine by Dr Flegg and has asked for another.

Suggest follow-up consultation in my electorate at Dreamworld location to visualise cablecars in theme parks and not rainforest. Keep monitoring. Regards Alex.

 

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-ray-you-are-not-hearing-voices-a-tongueincheek-email-run-down-leading-up-to-mp-ray-stevens-shock-cableway-announcement/story-fnj94itc-1227115649976

Statement by Ros Bates – with comments

The proposed cableway to Springbrook is not a proposal of the LNP Government and is at this stage an idea put forward by a private consortium.

Is the current MP distancing herself and the government from this project? It was after all announced by the LNP in the Parliament! And the private consortium does include a sitting Member of Parliament

No formal application was made to the Government before the writs were issued and as we are now in caretaker mode any future application would be considered after the election.

True.  But that doesn’t stop a candidate from stating their position on a major issue in her electorate.  Other candidates are telling us their position.

It, like any other application will be considered in the usual way and rigorously assessed by the relevant Department.

But Ms Bates says there isn’t an application?  And how could it be considered in the “usual way”, when it is proposed through the middle of a world heritage area, on state owned land?

I have already publicly stated that any eco-tourism proposal in the electorate of Mudgeeraba would have to stack up environmentally and economically.

But, haven’t the very laws that would have helped protect Springbrook National Park been weakened to enable commercial development in national parks?

I am in favour of responsible ecotourism in the hinterland and will do whatever I can to provide a boost for the community and businesses.

Please tell us then if 800,000 people a year to a small, fragile National Park, in a high risk fire area, with no sewage system at the source of the Gold Coast’s water supply is responsible ecotourism – or even responsible development full stop?

In a milestone for the Springbrook community we’ll see the Purlingbrook Falls suspension bridge completed shortly for all to enjoy and for visitors to explore.

Haven’t there been some problems with finishing this infrastructure?  Hasn’t all work stopped for some of the same reasons that make a cableway difficult?

The Purlingbrook Circuit will also be completed shortly (weather dependant).

In a high rainfall, high fire risk area, tracks close regularly – from landslide, tree fall and other natural events.  How weather dependent is a cableway, and what actions will need to be taken to protect private infrastructure interests, at the expense of the park and its wildlife?

In addition, we have spent $136,000 to reopen Warrie Circuit and Twin Falls Circuit. 

Whoops, Warrie Circuit is closed again!

Working closely with Glenn TOZER for Mudgeeraba & Hinterland (Division 9), we have reopened and cleaned up many of the popular walking tracks in Springbrook to encourage eco- tourism.

Horses, BMX bikes and large commercial infrastructure like cableways, in National Parks is not low impact ecotourism.

The LNP Government is a strong team with a strong plan to boost tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy, but we need to ensure that we stay on track to secure a bright future.

Is ‘on track’ the continued weakening of the laws that protect these areas?  What is the strong plan for Springbrook?

As Mudgeeraba’s strong local champion, I’m looking forward to working with locals to make Springbrook an even stronger community.

Then work with us, be our strong local champion and assure us that this destructive proposal will never proceed in our world heritage listed Springbrook National Park, a jewel in your seat of Mudgeeraba.

Mature Age Party and Conflict of Interest

A new party representing mature aged people at theMAP.org.au

Conflict Of Interest !! Ray Stevens

 Here we have another classic example of the Queensland Liberal National Party arrogance and attitude towards the voters of this great State,how can a Member of Parliament openly state that he has outside financial interests  in a consortium to construct a ‘ Sky Rail .What does this Ray Stevens want !! to be .this is just another disgraceful snub at Queensland voters .

http://themap.org.au/conflict-of-interest-ray-stevens/

Something is rotten in Mermaid

Kudos to the Gold Coast Bulletin for keeping the pressure on Mermaid Ray over his perceived conflict of interest in this sordid affair.

“The integrity commissioner has reviewed his proposed investment and has given him a clearance and I am satisfied with that.”

When asked again why he wouldn’t release the report, Mr Newman repeated: “The integrity commissioner has given him a clearance, and I say that to you today, and that is why we have an integrity commissioner”.

Mr Stevens again refused to answer any questions on the cable car, saying only that he was “busy electioneering”.

Mr Stevens was expecting to run unopposed for Mermaid Beach, but the ALP confirmed this week that it had signed up Gary Pead to run against Mr Stevens.

Mr Pead, who described himself as climate reality project leader at Climate Reality Project, campaigned as an independent in the state seat of Mudgeeraba in 2006.

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/mermaid-beach-mp-ray-stevens-is-still-remaining-tight-lipped-on-his-involvement-with-the-springbrook-cable-car-consortium/story-fnj94idh-1227177940551

The stink intensifies: Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens voted to cut red tape for commercial ventures in the Gold Coast Hinterland

Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens voted to cut red tape for commercial ventures in the Gold Coast Hinterland

The site of a proposed cableway project proposed for Springbrook.

The site of a proposed cableway project proposed for Springbrook.

MERMAID Beach MP Ray Stevens voted in favour of new laws which would cut red tape and costs to commercial enterprises in national parks after planning began for his proposed hinterland cableway.

A Bulletin search of Hansard shows Mr Stevens was in State Parliament on October 16 last year when a division was called for a vote about amendments to the Nature Conservation Act.

The Mermaid Beach MP is listed as one of 66 Government members who voted in favour of added clauses ensuring the changes were passed as LNP MPs praised the new laws.

A business search reveals Gold Coast Skyride was registered in October 3, 2013, by Nerang-based accountant Owen Patrick Yong Gee.

MP Ray Stevens is remaining tight-lipped about the project.

MP Ray Stevens is remaining tight-lipped about the project.

Searches show Mr Yong Gee and Mr Stevens, through their companies, are shareholders in the hinterland project.

The consortium, which includes Coast businessman Terry Jackman and Terry Moore, plans a 9km cableway from a privately owned site on Springbrook Road to the mountain top station at Springbrook in the national park.

Mr Stevens was appointed as one of several directors in September this year, but in early November ceased to play that role.

He declined to comment on his vote when contacted by the Bulletin.

State Parliament as early as April 2013 began debating the Nature Conservation Bill with Minister Steve Dickson explaining the changes would allow for eco-tourism facilities in national parks.

“Importantly, the object of the Nature Conservation Act is being expanded to better provide for increased recreation and eco-tourism opportunities in the protected area estate, all the while retaining a focus on the conservation of nature,” Mr Dickson told the Parliament.

Mr Stevens in October this year stunned colleagues when he announced, in the Parliament, that he was involved in the eco-tourism project and his role had been cleared by the Integrity Commissioner.

But he has declined to release details of letters between himself and the commissioner despite requests from the Bulletin during the past 57 days.

The Hansard search shows Mr Stevens has not spoken about legislation which would impact on his development.

But other Coast MPs, unaware of Skyride, including Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates, have addressed the House on the Bill and talked about how it would help neglected areas like Springbrook.

Gaven Independent MP Dr Alex Douglas believes Mr Stevens must either resign from Parliament or sell his shares if he was to remain an MP.

“He supported legislation and did not declare a conflict of interest. He clearly has a conflict of interest,” Dr Douglas told the Bulletin.

“He could totally withdraw and divest himself of his shares, which is fine. If he won’t resign and go with his project, I don’t see how they (the LNP) could endorse him.

“If it was the National Party, he’d be disendorsed. In the Liberal Party, you are allowed to do this.”

 

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/mermaid-beach-mp-ray-stevens-voted-to-cut-red-tape-for-commercial-ventures-in-the-gold-coast-hinterland/story-fnj94idh-1227167281822

Mermaid MP Ray Stevens asked to detail backroom politics

Mermaid MP Ray Stevens asked to detail backroom politics

CABLEWAY MP RAY Stevens is under pressure to reveal his role in supporting new LNP laws which help open up national parks for businesses.

Opponents to the planned $100 million Skyride have called on residents to ask Mr Stevens to explain his position when the party room debated changes to the Nature Conservation Act and vegetation management laws.

Amendments to both pieces of legislation will reduce red tape and potentially save millions of dollars for developers planning projects either in or near national parks.

The Mermaid Beach MP in October in State Parliament announced he was part of a consortium which was proposing a 9km cable car ride from a privately owned site on Springbrook Rd to a mountain top station at Springbrook.

Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council president Lois Levy yesterday confirmed a No Way Cableway campaign was underway which could include a petition and possible future rallies.

Mrs Levy said GECKO through social media would encourage residents to ask Mr Stevens to release letters where he sought and obtained clearance from the Integrity Commissioner regarding his involvement in the project.

“I think they should be asking him to be open and transparent about the advice from the Integrity Commissioner,” Mrs Levy said.

“Was he present when changes to the legislation allowed this type of project to go ahead. Was he involved in discussions in the party room?

“Did he vote in favour of those changes in the Parliament? These changes make it easier to do an environmental impact assessment.”

After Mr Stevens had remained silent on the project since October,The Bulletin yesterday published 10 key questions which asked the MP to detail his role, financial stake and contact with fellow MPs about the Skyride.

Mrs Levy said the Parliament would be debating new legislation in the New Year which could favour the project and the Government was required to update the southeast Queensland regional plan.

“He should resign from the Parliament if he continues to be involved in this. Everyone seems to be able to see a conflict of interest other than himself and the Premier,” she said.

Former Labor Mudgeeraba MP Di Reilly is backing a petition to State Parliament because she believes residents will get little support from Coast-based LNP members.

She said residents had been given no information about the project other that it appeared similar to the previous Naturelink proposal.

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/mermaid-mp-ray-stevens-asked-to-detail-backroom-politics/story-fnj94idh-1227165574125

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