Overview of the 1998 Naturelink Cableway
The Naturelink Cableway involved a proposal to construct an 11.6km passenger cableway between Mudgeeraba and Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland of south-east Queensland. The proposed passenger cableway consisted of a series of forty-four towers connected by a moving wire cableway system with up to 180, six-person detachable gondolas driven by electrically powered drive stations at both ends of the facility. Four passenger stations, with associated restaurants and amenities, were proposed for the route forming the start, transit and finish points for the cableway. The proposed cableway route crossed a number of tenures including Springbrook National Park, a protected area under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) and part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) World Heritage Area (“the CERRA World Heritage Area”).
The proposal was declared a “significant project” under s29B of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld) and an environmental impact statement (“EIS”) was prepared under that Act. This comprised initially a report and supporting information in two volumes (“the draft EIS”), which was supplemented with a third volume following public comments (collectively, “the EIS”). The proposal, supported by the EIS, was referred to the Commonwealth for assessment under the EPBC Act on 25 August 2000. It was declared a controlled action on 21 September 2000 and determined to require an environmental impact statement on 2 March 2001 (this second EIS has not yet been prepared). There were therefore State level and Commonwealth assessment and approval processes operating concurrently in relation to the proposed development. However, on 8 November 2000 the Queensland Government refused the application on the basis that:
“The preferred route of Naturelink’s proponents was simply not acceptable because of the threat to sensitive ecosystems contained in World Heritage listed national parklands.”
Below is a video made in 1998 about the cause. The issues have not changed.