Sunday, May 26, 2013


I refer to the article in the Gold Coast Sun of Thursday May 23, 2013, (page 11), by Laura Nelson, Cableway to lift tourism says alliance (see below):

It is astonishing that the ghost of the cableway still lingers in the same way as all of the ‘green’ clichés do. What constantly seems to be forgotten is that Springbrook is part of a World Heritage-listed region. Its special qualities are not a figment of any extremist’s imagination. A cableway at Springbrook would be like a cableway at Uluru or Chartres cathedral. Other parts of the world that have the privilege of managing World Heritage sites do so with pride, commitment and rigour: just look at Uluru and Chartres. Springbrook is listed for its unique biodiversity, a situation that requires a special awareness, care and sensitivity, as its complex ecology is not as immediately obvious as a large rock or a building, even though the region might be just as picturesque.

The impact of tourism on the plateau needs to be very carefully controlled. While businesses would always like to be more profitable, it seems self-indulgent to start blaming others for any shortcoming or failure. The dismissive designation of ‘green groups and individuals’ as being ‘radical’ borders on the juvenile, as it is clear that the rest of the world is challenging this perception with the World Heritage listing. That ‘this policy’, a strange description for apparent ‘green’ activism, is promoted as being ‘to the detriment of the local population’ emphasises the problem with platitudes.

World Heritage Springbrook must be properly managed prior to and in parallel with the demands of the ‘local population’ and any desire to broaden ‘its tourism base’ if the ecology is to be maintained and sustained. Pressing on with commonplace banalities and ignoring the essence of this special region might soon have it being considered for the endangered list along with the Great Barrier Reef. This would be a very sad day not only for Queensland, but also for the world.

Spence Jamieson
President Springbrook/Wunburra Progress Association Incorporated

On matters extreme and green, one wonders if promoters of the clichés might consider the ‘green’ cemetery and those who support it (see Green burial dug up again, page 3, below) as being ‘radical’ and disruptive? Then I suppose cemeteries are not great tourist attractions, even though the report notes that they do make a profit.


Laura Nelson  12:01am May 26, 2013

THE president of the new Gold Coast and Hinterland Business Alliance believes Mount Tamborine has the edge over Springbrook in the cableway stakes.

Bob Janssen said his alliance supported a cableway to the Hinterland and he said Mount Tamborine had the advantage because it already had extensive infrastructure.

"It has Gallery Walk, a lot of retail stores, other attractions and it is already an established tourism destination," he said.

"Springbrook also has immense potential and it could use something like a cableway but it doesn't have the existing infrastructure like Mount Tamborine has."

Mr Janssen said the Gold Coast needed a cableway to boost its tourism industry.

"We have all this opportunity for nature-based tourism in our region but it hasn't been effectively utilised," he said.

Mr Janssen said this applied particularly to Springbrook and he said local organisations had met recently to discuss this and other issues in the area.

"In an unprecedented move, the Springbrook Mountain Community Association, Communities for Sustainable Futures, Springbrook Rural Fire Brigade (SRF), Springbrook Chamber of Commerce and State Emergency Service met at an open forum," he said.

"The three-hour meeting revealed considerable common ground between the seemingly unrelated interests of these organisations and they appointed SRF commander Ray Cavanough to act as their spokesperson."

A key issue of concern was tourism and that lobbying by 'radical' green groups and individuals had curtailed the infrastructure necessary to support the industry, Mr Janssen said.

"This policy has been to the detriment of the local population and the city in broadening its tourism base," he said.

Another issue raised was the fire risk and public safety at Springbrook.


Andrew Potts  12:01am May 26, 2013

PLANS for a "green" cemetery are about to be dug up again after years of being buried deep within the Gold Coast City Council's budget.

City cemeteries turned a $183,000 profit this year according to budget documents, which revealed there had been a higher than usual number of burial plot purchases.

And the number is expected to grow.

Councillors have confirmed the green concept, which involves being buried in biodegradable, cardboard coffins without a specific headstone marker, was back on the agenda.

Mudgeeraba councillor Glenn Tozer said talks were under way with cemetery custodians about the future of burials on the Gold Coast.

"We are talking about it right now and analysing different trends in the funeral industry," he said.

"We will look at how green cemeteries come into it as well as different types of commemorative services in the future."

Mudgeeraba has previously been mooted as the site of the city's first environmentally friendly cemetery but its high cost has kept the project on the proverbial morgue slab.

Burial at a green cemetery is likely to cost between $2000 and $3000, similar to existing burial costs, but the added cost would be in paying for the hi-tech GPS plot-finder system that is used to locate burial plots.

Families will be given a copy of their loved ones' co-ordinates, which will be kept on record by the council and used to prevent multiple burials.

The city has eight public cemeteries including Southport Lawn cemetery on Olsen Ave, which is expected to reach capacity by 2016.

Cemeteries at Southport general, Nerang, Lower Coomera and Mudgeeraba are expected to continue operating for 20 years.

Angry tourists say they were left 'swinging in the breeze' after the Kuranda Skyrail attraction failed on Saturday

by: Peter Michael, Kate McKenna

From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

March 24, 2013 12:00AM

ANGRY tourists on their return to the Skyrail terminal after a power cut kept them stranded in gondolas for more than four hours. PIC: Brian Cassey Source: The Courier-Mail

OPERATORS of the Skyrail cable-car attraction near Cairns have been criticised for leaving tourists "swinging in the breeze" for hours after power was cut to the popular tourist attraction.

Approximately 54 sightseers sat suspended along the line for more than four hours yesterday afternoon after a fallen tree damaged the electrical control equipment around 4.20pm Saturday and crippled the cableway.

One cableway was back online within an hour and the other with 54 stranded tourists came back on at 8.25pm.

Visibly upset passengers, some arguing loudly with Skyrail staff, trickled back through the main terminal from about 9.30pm.

US tourist Sue Tempero said it was a terrifying ordeal.

"It was scary," she said.

"We were stuck for five hours. It was cold, dark and it was raining hard. It was just like being stuck in a lift except you are hundred feet up in the air."

She criticised Skyrail for a lack of communication.

However, a pair of honeymooning Mexican tourists said they didn't mind the delay.

"We had a lot of time on our hands," said Cinthya Prieto

"We did what all couples on honeymoon do. "Why not?"

She said she now had a story to tell.

"It was an adventure. I trusted everything would be okay. We had a great time. I thought we might have had to sleep there. I could have stayed up there all night."

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway experience is a 7.5km-long journey over ancient rainforest, Red Peak and Barron River Falls near Kuranda in the state's far north.

It is usually a 2.5 hour round trip but a fallen tree crashed the entire Skyrail control system about 4.20pm yesterday.

It left 54 tourists - including the lovestruck couple - stuck in their gondolas up to 40m high in places until the cable way came back online about 8.20pm last night.

For details on Springbrook see 


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