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.”


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.



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 .


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.


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.”



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.


Ray refuses to talk – the pressure builds.


Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens has refused to talk about a proposed Hinterland cableway


Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens.

Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens.

TRY calling the “cable guy” who remains silent.

Ray Stevens has been asked more than a dozen times in the past two months — by the Bulletin, the State Opposition and other MPs — to release information about his $100 million Skyride plan.

Among the critical questions the Mermaid Beach MP needs to answer is whether he intends to release details of the letters exchanged between himself and the Integrity Commissioner about his role in the project.

Proposed cableway site in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Proposed cableway site in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

The Bulletin today tracks the requests to provide comment which have been rejected or ignored.

A Right To Information application has revealed the only way this material will become public is if Mr Stevens or the Premier Campbell Newman decides to release it.

The Bulletin was advised that if the Integrity Commissioner documents existed in the office of the Premier that material “would most likely not be subject to the RTI Act and therefore would not be considered for release”. Under laws which govern the office of the Integrity Commissioner, the only way correspondence will be released is if the politician involved decides to do so.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has made seven specific requests, and in State Parliament asked the Premier, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and National Parks Minister Steve Dickson what they knew about the project.

Proposed Cableway site for the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Proposed Cableway site for the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Ms Palaszczuk had asked Mr Newman to release the advice from the Integrity Commissioner which Mr Stevens had provided to him.

Mr Newman in Parliament told the Opposition leader “it was a matter for the assistant minister”.

“I reiterate today that the assistant minister will have nothing to do with the approvals for that matter. I also confirm that I have sighted the advice, and the Integrity Commissioner provides a clearance,” he said. Gaven independent MP Alex Douglas, in a statement on his website, also asked Mr Stevens to release details after providing no information in his most recent householder letter.

The Mermaid Beach MP outlined laws to control party houses, police targeting of bikie gangs and improved health services but did not mention his project.

Opposition members vow they will be “relentless” in holding Mr Stevens and Mr Newman to account.

10 questions

we’d like to ask Ray Stevens
Let us know what you’d like to know in the comments section below:

  1. Why won’t you release the Integrity Commissioner’s advice on your role in the Gold Coast cable-car project?
  2. Roughly how many hours per week will you devote to your role as investor and adviser to the project?
  3. What is your investment in the project and are you being paid for your work?
  4. The people of Queensland are paying you almost $300,000 a year. How are they receiving value for money now that you have taken a part-time job?
  5. The roles of MP and assistant minister demand long hours and focus. Shouldn’t you devote all your working time to your elected duties?
  6. Do you contact and meet with fellow proponents Terry Moore and Terry Jackman?
  7. Have you had any contact with fellow Gold Coast MPs seeking further information about the cable-car project?
  8. If residents of your electorate have concerns about the project, who should they talk to given you are compromised in this matter?
  9. Do you intend to run for re-election at the 2015 State Election or retire from Parliament to focus on your cable-car project?
  10. You recently sent out a letter to your electorate noting recent developments. Why didn’t you acknowledge your new part-time job?



Like the Gold Coast Bulletin, we welcome your questions in the comments.  We have started by poaching them from the article.

Government failure to act on Ray Stevens’ clear conflict of interest could have significant self-inflicted consequences

MERMAID Ray, aka the Cable Guy, is taking us all for a ride.

The Gold Coast MP, whose real name is Ray Stevens, may think he has a right to moonlight as a consultant and investor on a $100 million cable-car project.

He may also believe he’s assuaged public opinion by promising to place himself at arm’s length from any of the project’s interactions with the Newman Government.

However, potential conflict of interest cases like Stevens’ are always about perception. In all ways you look at the scenario of a senior government member being involved in a project reliant on government decisions, the perception is abysmal.

The Government’s failure to fathom this at the earliest opportunity could have significant self-inflicted consequences.

read more…

Here we Joh again! The GC Skyride and The Integrity of Mermaid Ray

This article really gets to the core of one of the troubling aspects of this project.

There is a stench rising in the north — and it leads unerringly back to the Newman Government, whose administration is looking more like the corrupt Joh Bjelke-Petersen regime every day.

One such malodourous case, which provides a case study in how the Newman Government has opened up Queensland for potential political corruption, is that of LNP MP ‘Mermaid’ Ray Stevens and his proposed Gold Coast ‘Skyride’ cablecar development.
read more…

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