Stop ‘Southport Bashing’

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Homelessness is a universal issue and city-wide challenge. Local Police, Council and community support organisations have made a huge impact these past few months in cleaning up our Southport CBD.

 

Vacant Shopfronts can be found the length and breadth of our city. Retail has changed and Council needs to stop being so quick to approve new retail development.

 

The mega centres of Pacific Fair, Robina Town Centre, Westfield and large-scale retail expansions are killing off streets and retail businesses at grade. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive and ongoing growth of online retail, we shouldn’t be surprised that traditional retail centres are struggling.

 

It's time for a moratorium on “planning approvals” for new retail development approvals. We simply have too many shops given our current population. If you think Southport has a lot of vacant spaces, then go for a walk-through Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Brisbane CBD to gain some perspective.

 

As far as the Southport Priority Development Area (PDA) is concerned, the PDA was introduced to fast-track approvals at a time when the Gold Coast was on its knees coming out of the global financial crisis.

 

Planning is all about supply and demand. It’s basic economics. Council needs to plan for the future.

 

Current projections suggested we need to squeeze 200,000 more people into the Gold Coast by 2031. We’re running out of land in the corridor, so do we concentrate growth in the light rail corridor and go up. Or do we drive population growth into residential choice domain, through Labrador, Southport and Ashmore, cluttering our streets with cars and demolishing entire suburbs to build more and more four storey apartment buildings?

 

While some major projects have failed to start, there are many which have completed and are full. Companies like Kyron, Rajon, Raw Corp, Usher Developments, Meriton and Project Solutions have all quietly got on with the job.

 

Why is no-one talking about Queen Street Village?

 

These developments have successfully pushed ahead despite the over-supply created by the Commonwealth Games Village. I asked the question in 2012 and have asked it repeatedly since. Why was the Commonwealth Games Village not built on the old Hospital site? Why did the previous Labor Government destroy our Parklands and ignore the voices of past and current Southport business leaders?

 

Rather than abandoning the PDA, Council would be better placed to properly support the vision and take a leaf out of Brisbane’s play book by offering incentives in the form of reduced infrastructure charges, with a view to fulfilling its vision for Southport as the true CBD of the Gold Coast.

 

Rob Molhoek MP

State Member for Southport

Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health

Shadow Assistant Minister for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Seniors

 

Queensland Parliament

M: 0430 209995

E: rob.molhoek@parliament.qld.gov.au

 

 

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