New Labor board a step back for waterways authority

30 Nov 2015 4:03 PMJohn-Paul Langbroek

The LNP Government’s legacy of ensuring locals control the management of the Gold Coast Waterways is under threat after the Palaszczuk Labor Government made changes to the board.

Deputy Opposition Leader and Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek said Labor’s new-look Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) was a step in the wrong direction.

“After years of Labor’s bureaucratic control from Brisbane, the LNP introduced the Authority while in government,” Mr Langbroek said.

“The GCWA returned the power and responsibility for managing the waterways back to the Gold Coast community, where it should be.

“Many on the Gold Coast are concerned about the recent appointments, particularly when all three board members, including the new chair, have been environmental bureaucrats on George Street in Brisbane.

“The removal of former Gold Coast Mayor Gary Baildon as chair is a blow to local voices being heard at the GCWA – the board really should reflect the community and unfortunately Labor doesn’t understand that.

“Labor needs to come clean about what its intention is for the Broadwater and other waterways, because at the moment the motivation seems to be purely politics.

“The LNP wanted to work with the community to unleash Gold Coast’s true potential ensuring locals had the power to decide how the waterways should be used and not be dictated too from Brisbane.

“Now there is a real threat the Gold Coast will go backwards under Labor and Minister Mark Bailey, undoing all the good work undertaken by the Authority over the last three years.”

Member for Broadwater Verity Barton said the local community had fought hard for their fair share after marine infrastructure on the Gold Coast was completely ignored throughout the Beattie and Bligh years.

“The Broadwater is an amazing asset for the Gold Coast and I always call it the jewel in our crown,” Miss Barton said.

“We can't return to the bad old days under Labor of endless green-tape and stalling much-needed dredging and critical marine infrastructure.

“We made great inroads when the LNP Government established the waterways authority and placed the future of the Broadwater in the hands of locals.”

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