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.

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.

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.

Those slippery politicians…

A few people have been trying to get an answer from LNP Member of Parliament for Mudgeeraba, Ros Bates, about her stance on the project.  We are happy to show any politician’s position.

But it is hard…so hard…

[UPDATE]…especially when Ros Bates censors dissent by deleting the post and banning the dissenters.  Fortunately it is now on record.

Slippery Bates

This screenshot from Ros Bates’ facebook page at 10:15PM Thursday Jan 8th

Mature Age Party and Conflict of Interest

A new party representing mature aged people at

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.

Our national parks must be more than playgrounds or paddocks

Written in 2013, the situation has worsened since then.

It’s make or break time for Australia’s national parks.

National parks on land and in the ocean are dying a death of a thousand cuts, in the form of bullets, hooks, hotels, logging concessions and grazing licences (and cableways. It’s been an extraordinary last few months, with various governments in eastern states proposing new uses for these critically important areas.


Australia’s first “National Park”, established in 1879, was akin to a glorified country club. Now called the “Royal National Park” on the outskirts of Sydney, it was created as a recreational escape for Sydney-siders, with ornamental plantations, a zoo, race courses, artillery ranges, livestock paddocks, deer farms, logging leases and mines.

Australians since realised that national parks should focus on protecting the species and natural landscapes they contain. However, we are now in danger of regressing to the misguided ideals of the 19th Century.
read more…

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

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