Coach terminal to be knocked

By YVONNE McLEAN

It could be a year before the council is in a position to call tenders for the redevelopment of the Surfers Paradise Transit Centre, but one thing is certain the present coach terminal and the adjacent Bruce Bishop carpark and Neal Shannon Park are marked for demolition.

A majority council vote last week later sanctioned by the local government minister Desley Boyle (the State Government owns 0.1795 hectares of the land) signalled the end of one of the most bitter widespread protests in years, including a strongly supported campaign by Surfers Paradise councillor Susie Douglas calling for the Transit Centre complex to be retained but significantly upgraded.

Fears that a new development could swallow up the last parkland in the area and a shortfall in carparking facilities could follow the demolition of the Bruce Bishop carpark as well as fewer coach bays in a new transit facility dominated the protests. There were also objections to council sealing off a ratepayers asset.

Cr Daphne McDonald, who voted with the majority for a newlook transit centre, said there were a number of detailed reports to be considered by council before tenders could be called.

"For instance, I want to know the exact size of the land donated to council years ago by the Hicks family - the land that became the Neal Shannon Park. The land gift must be preserved in its entirety under council control.

"It is unthinkable that gifts of land to council for open space could be used for any other purpose, and I will be monitoring that closely in any future development," she said.

A Transit Centre document prepared by the council's economic development director, Greg Young, visualises a development which could include two accommodation towers (heights to be limited), a coach set-down and waiting areas, the demolition of the carpark and parkland and a new urban park at ground level. The present park was developed on top of the carpark, but no-one seems to know how or why.

The Greg Young document allows for the present five-level 980 carspace under the present Transit Centre to be retained by council and flood proofed.

There would be cafes and interesting shops at front level of the new building, giving an atmosphere like the famous Little Burke Street in Melbourne.



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