Proponents of $100m cableway project for Gold Coast Hinterland say they’ll bid (sic) their time

Gold Coast Bulletin

Environment Minister Steven Miles has brushed off a push for the Gold Coast Skyride, saying the idea was “inappropriate” and would likely be dismissed.

Mr Stevens has lashed out in response, saying the project had become a political issue which would never be fairly assessed on its merits.

“My advice to the consortium would be not to submit an official application for the cableway because the green-controlled Labor Government will not review it fairly,” he said.

“When we proposed something similar they knocked it back for ridiculous reason like it being a bushfire risk, or that we simply couldn’t build it on the slopes of the mountain.

“It defies logic that they think we would operate the ride in a bushfire and let the passengers barbecue and they wouldn’t even let our engineers look at the land to assess how to do it.

“This project would create 1200 jobs during construction and around 580 to the area after and they won’t even assess it, based on its merits.”

On the Coast to promote visitation to National Parks, Mr Miles didn’t sound impressed with the Skyride idea.

 “There isn’t a proposal at the moment for a cableway or anything like that,” he said.
 “Our view would probably be that that’s inappropriate but it would be up to proponents to come forward and we’d assess it.”

“We’ve revisited the framework by which we assess eco-tourism proposals and we really do want to see new facilities in our national parks, more reasons for people to visit because we want people to have those experiences.

“But they have to be sensitive and appropriate to the location and to the conservation values of the location.”

The Labor Government has introduced a Bill to Parliament aimed at repealing amendments to the Nature Conservation Act made by the LNP and voted for by Mr Stevens.

The LNP changed the object of the Act from focusing solely on conserving nature to allowing indigenous management of protected areas in which they have an interest; the use of protected areas by the community; and the social, cultural and commercial use of protected areas in a way consistent with the natural and cultural and other values of the areas.


We can't rest yet

Good News! Cableway project to be buried if Labor forms government

Controversial Hinterland cableway project to be buried if Labor forms government

The proposed Gold Coast Skyride cableway, like this one in Cairns, will be buried if Labo

The proposed Gold Coast Skyride cableway, like this one in Cairns, will be buried if Labor manages to form government.

THE controversial $100 million cableway project will be buried if Labor manages to form government.

Gold Coast Skyride chairman Terry Jackman said the Springbrook project was dead without government support.

Labor MPs were virulently opposed to the cableway project and the LNP government failed to approve it before the election.

“I always believed the cableway would be a terrific addition to Gold Coast tourism — but it does require government approval,” Mr Jackman said.

“Principally, State Government approval.

“It is quite simple, if the government doesn’t want it we will not proceed but we need to wait to see who forms government.”

Gold Coast Skyride chairman Terry Jackman admits the Springbrook project is dead without

Gold Coast Skyride chairman Terry Jackman admits the Springbrook project is dead without government support.

Area councillor Glenn Tozer said Gold Coast Skyride was one of several high-profile projects unlikely to go ahead if Labor formed government.

“If the government does change, then it definitely could be in doubt along with other projects across the Coast,” he said.

“We will have to work out what the city priorities are in the context of the new government and what the likelihood is of seeing them funded.”

The ALP were strong critics of the cableway project when Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens revealed plans to State parliament in October.

In 2007, the Labor Government spent $40 million buying 705ha on Springbrook Mountain to protect the area from development.

The weekend’s massive election swing has also put a cloud over the State Government’s sale of Springbrook Manor which sits on 10ha of prime mountain real estate.

Harcourts sales agent Julie Andrews, who secured two tenders for the property, said she was devastated about results from the election.

“We have to wait and see what happens because a Labor government could potentially cancel the sale, even though we have buyers lined up,” she said.

Springbrook Manor was a significant tourism boon for the mountain until it went bust early last year.

Mr Jackman said stakeholders needed to build more tourism infrastructure to compete with markets in Singapore and Dubai, “because you can’t just sit on your hands and say we have good weather and good beach”.

“Places like Singapore and Dubai are doing some incredible things and we need to be ready to compete with them.

“The Skyride board will meet soon and we will make a decision on whether to progress after we know who is in power. It has been a very interesting six months.”

Media release: Springbrook – too small, too special, too unsafe for a skyride!

MEDIA RELEASE 29th January 2015

Springbrook – too small, too special, too unsafe for a skyride!

No matter who wins the Queensland election on Saturday, the Cableway No Way group (CWNW) will continue to oppose the proposal to build a cableway through the World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park as being too small, too special and too unsafe for a skyride.

According to CWNW spokesperson, Ms Ceris Ash, the proposal announced in October by sole shareholder and Member of Parliament Ray Stevens of Mermaid Beach, is an old idea, following much the same route as the proposal led by Mr Stevens 17 years ago.

“No matter who wins this State election, the facts remain that Springbrook is not the right place for a theme park ride bringing mass tourism to this tiny, fragile national park and the head of our water supply catchment,’ said Ceris. “Both the assessment by Gold Coast City Council and the Coordinator General’s report, as well as submissions from individuals from around the city and groups such as Gecko, together with over 12,000 signatures on a petition, convinced the then Beattie Government that the cableway should be refused 15 years ago. It was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now!”

“The cableway was considered too unsafe due to high fire danger, very steep, erodible slopes, narrow winding roads for trucks and buses and possible contamination of our water. The changes the LNP made to the Nature Conservation Act that now allow for commercial development don’t change the facts that a cableway is inappropriate in this small, fragile, very special area.”

For more on this issue, please phone Ceris Ash, Cableway No Way – 0418 454 732 and visit

Mermaid Ray versus Cableway No Way

Here we Joh again! Mermaid Ray versus Cableway No Way

Gary Pead
Sitting Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens was arrogant, rude and belligerent when questioned about the Cableway by IA editor David Donovan — because he thought he could get away with it (The Courier Mail, 22/01/15)

After Gold Coast MP Ray Stevens’ outrageous behaviour this week to avoid questions about his conflict of interest in the Gold Coast Skyride development, fellow Mermaid Beach candidate Gary Pead (ALP) recounts his long opposition to the cableway and its massive problems.

Talking, laughing and the chinking of glasses could be heard at the Courtyard Café after the 2001 election of the Beattie Government in Queensland. Then Environment Minister Rod Welford had joined us at our celebration, confirming that the proposed Springbrook cableway would not go ahead.

Everybody was ecstatic at the announcement, but also overwhelmingly relieved after the months and years of hard work by the Cableway No Way campaign workers. Finally we could get on with our lives knowing that Springbrook National Park was in safe hands.

Our café, which we purchased in Mudgeeraba when we moved to the Gold Coast in early 1998, quickly became the meeting place of the Cable Way No Way campaigners. We organised protests, campaigners lobbied minsters; we worked hard, for years to try and put this issue to bed.

The local counsellor of the time, Peter Armstrong was felt by the campaign workers to be vacillating in his support of the Naturelink project (the cableway). So, my wife Jill ran against him in 2000 as an independent, with a clear undertaking that if she were elected to council she would not support the cableway.

As it happened, an independent affiliated with the LNP, Ted Sheppard, did agree to back the project if elected and won his bid to become division 9 councillor, with the obvious support of Ray Stevens, who had a personal financial interest in the Naturelink Cableway project.

Fast-forward 15 years and here we go again — only this time, Ray Stevens is using his almost unassailable position as the MP for Mermaid Beach to guarantee the success of this Skyride project, in which he has a major financial interest. To ensure the project’s success, he voted in parliament to change legislation that would allow commercial developments in national parks. Additionally, he voted to weaken the Crime and Corruption Commission’s ability to investigate the dealings of members of parliament. This is a clear breach of the trust that his electorate has placed in him to act with integrity and honesty, and to act in their best interests, not his own.

In a presentation at our café, well before the “reconciliation actions”, we learned from esteemed local Aboriginal elder, the Reverend Graham Dillon. It was the country of Graham’s grandmother’s Dreamtime stories. We learned the correct pronunciation for the area was “Ma-ji-ri-bah” not “Mud-ger-ra-ba” and was reputed to mean “a place where lies were told”. This is because of an alleged aboriginal massacre by settlers in the area of today’s Somerset College.

The lies, though perhaps not the bloodshed, appear to have continued to the present day.

The cable project was rejected 16 years ago due to a list of reasons – financial, environmental and safety – as long as my arm.

Gary Pead speaks at an anti-cableway rally 16 years ago (Image via

In terms of the environment, unlike that of the Skyrail Kuranda Rainforest Cableway in tropical Cairns – to which the Natureline project was often wrongly compared – was inappropriate for development. At the time, I was involved in an array of community committees and groups, including the volunteer local Rural Fire Brigade. From my time with them, I have the most vivid memories standing amongst the dry, blazing brush in Springbrook at 2am, fighting intensely hot bushfires right on the site of the proposed cableway. Springbrook has the second highest average rainfall in Queensland, meaning the project would not be viable in the wet season, with the poor visibility in the mountains and likely frequent cable car stoppages. In addition to this was the Indigenous significance and uniqueness of the ecology informed our protests. We were supported by the local community, as well as personalities such as gardener Don Burke and singer John Williamson, who also stood with us in solidarity.

Financially, the cableway was found inappropriate because the completed project was allegedly to be sold immediately to an overseas company so that the developers could make a windfall profit but not have to battle the suspect viability­ and ecological impact. I suspect this is the end goal of the latest version of this project also. Furthermore, it was likely the local businesses would not be served either, with buses of tourists driving straight past them to and from holiday accommodation on the coast.

The arguments against this plan have not changed and are equally valid after 16 years. This venture lacked imagination then as it does now and is generated by those with vested interests rather than holistic, sustainable approaches to tourism projects across the entire Gold Coast area that better serve the community’s prosperity.

With this snap election, we (me, my wife, the rest of the anti-cableway movement, and frankly the entire electorate) find ourselves in a powerless position. After careful manoeuvring, Ray Stevens’ stars have finally aligned and, if he is successful at this election, the fate of this project could be sealed without any consultation with the community. It seems a travesty of justice that all our hard work over so many years may go up in smoke — perhaps literally.

I am standing as the Labor candidate for Mermaid Beach because, morally and ethically, I cannot allow Ray Stevens’ actions to go unchallenged — on this issue and a dozen others, if not more.

The electorate of Mermaid Beach has been poorly served by Mr Stevens. Issues of spiralling costs of living, youth unemployment, seniors unemployment, the lack of sustainable job creation and the potential sale of assets – which is likely to include the sale of valuable land, including Miami State High and Broadbeach State School – have not been addressed in any way by him. He does not care about his constituents, only the money they can make him.

I implore the Mermaid Beach electorate to put LNP last on the ballot paper next week. The LNP and Ray Stevens will denigrate our society and our environment. We must vote them out to stop the Skyride in Springbrook. We must get rid of Ray Stevens.

Gary Pead is the ALP candidate for Mermaid Beach at the 31 January Queensland election. You can follow Gary on Twitter @commonsencrisis. Find out more about Cableway No Way here or on Twitter @cablewaynoway.,7289

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.

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia Under Threat

In 2000, Ray Stevens‘ earlier attempt at building a cableway to Springbrook came to the attention of UNESCO – the body that oversees World Heritage listings.

There is little difference between Stevens’ earlier proposal and this one, as shadowy as it is right now.

The Gondwana Rainforests is a serial property composed of 41 component parts, ranging in size from 36 hectares to 39,120 hectares. Each of the component parts conserve different values and are faced with different threats and management responses. More information is required for each component part before an assessment of the conservation status of the site as a whole can be more comprehensively assessed. However, in general the values for which the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986, with a large extension in 1994, have been mostly maintained apart from a decline in some significant species. Despite state-of-the-art management, given the large number of threats from both within and outside the site and potential additional threats brought about by climate change, the conservation outlook at this point in time is good with some concerns.

Overall Threats

Although the list of current and potential threatening processes to the property is long, there have been major management responses to these threats. However even with excellent management response, given the sheer number and diversity of threats, the multi-use functions of the property and the somewhat fragmented disposition of its component parts, as well as the unquantified effect of climate change, the threats are still assessed as high.

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

IUCN State of Conservation (SOC) Gondwana Rainforests of Australia