‘Unreasonable’: Legal action to halt Oceanway
CASHED-up Surfers Paradise residents are taking the state government and council to court to stop the controversial Oceanway from being built in front of their beachfront towers.
The Surfers Beachfront Protection Association (SBPA) has filed an application in the Planning and Environment Court to overturn the approval of a 1.6km concrete path between Trickett Street and Broadbeach Boulevard.
The 4m-wide path will be built on the oceanside of beachside towers, including the $1 billion Jewel resort. Construction is due to start this year.
But court documents filed by Hickey Lawyers on behalf of the association argues the State Development Department's approval of council's development application was "unreasonable" and "failed to take into account relevant considerations".
It says the path would destroy and affect the "amenity values" of the coastal dunal system, cause erosion, encourage people to walk along the beachfront during major storm events, increase the risk of damage to private properties "by elevated sea levels and associated increased wave size and energy" during bad weather, and undermine the integrity of the seawall.
The application will heard in Southport Court on April 30.
Hickey Lawyers' Antony Knox declined to name who was representing the association, citing confidentiality. The Bulletin unsuccessfully tried to contact the association.
A council spokeswoman said: "As this matter is before the courts it would be inappropriate to comment."
The extension of the Oceanway has been a long-running issue, with plans for new sections proving highly controversial in some neighbourhoods.
The path runs from The Spit to Surfers Paradise, and then from Currumbin to the border. Sections in between have been with controversy for nearly 15 years.
The Palm Beach Oceanway was halted and scrapped in 2008 after more than three years of planning.
Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek, who has followed the Oceanway debate for more than a decade, said the proposed path was a highly divisive issue in the community.
"I can understand the concerns about safety and access that people in the area have argued against," he said.
"If the state decides to fund it and the council wants it then it is going to go ahead.
"Northcliffe (SLSC) and rich landowners don't want it to be too close to their homes and there are environmental concerns.
"But I can also see that people will say they would like to see it go all the way through."
The Bulletin understands many community groups in the city's central and southern suburbs are closely watching the Surfers Paradise legal action to determine what it will mean for them, particularly those in the Hedges Ave/Mermaid Beach segment.
This section, between Peerless Ave and Chairlift Ave in Nobby Beach, is expected to be built as part of the $709 million light rail Stage 3 extension.
Mermaid Beach-based Real Estate Institute of Queensland zone chairman Andrew Henderson said there was opposition to the path being extended, but noted the limited success of anti-Oceanway candidates at both recent council and state elections.
"It has fallen flat as an election issue but building it on the A-line will have significant implications," he said.
"It is divisive but there are other ways and solutions which would be considerably more cost effective to complete it along the Hedges Ave route, such as undergrounding the powerlines.
"This would be significantly cheaper while delivering the same result."
Originally published as 'Unreasonable': Legal action to halt Oceanway