The Gold Coast Waterways Authority has been a quiet achiever since it was established in 2012 with the mandate to “Sustain, Enhance and Promote” the Gold Coast’s most significant natural asset.
Led by CEO, Hal Morris the GCWA has a budget of $30 million and a 10 year strategy aimed at improving access to our waterways through channel maintenance such as dredging and providing waterways destinations.
In the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the work of the GCWA will become crucial, driven by organisers and stakeholders who believe the Broadwater and waterways will be as important to the Commonwealth Games as Sydney Harbour was to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Recently, we were among a cross section of stakeholders surveyed in the GCWA Statutory Review, conducted by an independent company to ascertain the effectiveness of its work. As boat owners, residents and avid users of the Gold Coast waterways we were happy to provide feedback on the improved access, the continuing health of the waterways, and a budget used wisely.
Results are expected this month, but by all accounts, it has been unanimously positive. This is largely due to Hal Morris and his dedicated team with the vision, nous and experience gained from backgrounds in government and private enterprise.
I recently spoke with Hal and the team at GCWA about the objectives for 2016 and they identified: Channel Maintenance works at Cabbage Tree Point, Jacobs Well, Tipplers Passage, North Channel, South Channel and South Wavebreak Island and Biggera Creek.
Also on the list of priorities are upgrades to the Seaway Kiosk, Broadwater Parklands Stage 3 boat ramp and floating walkway, Surfers Riverside River Edge Treatment, Major Navigation Aids Maintenance project throughout waterways network, Tipplers Passage Infrastructure upgrades, and the Coomera Dredge Sediment Management Facility.
The majority of this work is accessible to all residents and visitors to the Gold Coast, whether boaties on the water or day trippers by the water. Queensland governments past and present should be congratulated for their recognition of the worth, in terms of tourism and intrinsic value to the aquatic lifestyle we enjoy on the Gold Coast.
The Waterways Management Program 2015-2019 is available at www.gcwa.qld.gov.au