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EXCLUSIVE: Gold Coast Cruise Terminal Bombshell – Transit Port Abandoned Amid Unimaginable Costs


Gold Coasters are copping a combo of low blows over the oceanside cruise terminal pre-election promise by Mayor Tom Tate, with LiQUiFY able to exclusively reveal a staggering $500 million cost blowout that could sink the terminal.


The unexpected new cost of almost half a billion dollars tops the list of a range of critical issues which have the potential to render the oceanside terminal concept as unachievable.

A source close to the proposed project has revealed exclusively to LiQUiFY that a looming Gold Coast City Council meeting by the Economic and Major Projects committee, scheduled for Thursday this week (May 25), is going into closed session over hundreds of pages of a Pricewaterhouse Coopers report commissioned by council. The report is said to contain the findings of recent engineering and feasibility studies, and according to the source, is expected to explicitly shut down any option of a port-of-call or transit port due to serious risk factors and the concept’s failed business case.

The report also suggests that a large-scale and expensive industrial home port is now the only remotely conceivable option.

The meeting and discussion is set for a ‘closed session’ meaning the public are blocked from accessing the reports or any of the councillor discussions about it, despite rate payers paying for the reports

A home port would require a full range of services including large-scale refuelling and sewerage facilities, dedicated customs and passport control, food and water supply as well as other potential infrastructure components like shore-to-ship power – all items that the mayor vocally shouted down as unnecessary when campaigning with his proposal.

LiQUiFY can also exclusively reveal that the confidential report estimates the cost of this new ‘home port’ to be in the vicinity of the half-billion-dollar mark, an inconceivable leap up from the clear election promises of Mayor Tate who told voters his proposal would cost a ‘modest $70 million’ to build and make operational.

This new and unannounced price tag would make the Gold Coast oceanside cruise terminal easily the single most expensive stand-alone cruise terminal on the entire planet, and one of the least equipped home ports in the world, having no direct or nearby access to heavy rail or airport infrastructure, having significant traffic and transport restrictions and almost there being limited land available for the vast network of storage, supply, sewerage and other standard home port operational infrastructure.

“They can’t do the port of call so they are opting for the home port and even with the minimal option to take only one ship docking at a time, they’re estimating it’ll cost about half a billion to build … it’s pure madness, but they (councillors) somehow still think it’s a viable thing – that it’s somehow a good thing,” said the council source to LiQUiFY.

At a press conference last Monday, Mayor Tate labelled the home port option that his council applied to the Federal Government for approval as ‘the worst case scenario’.

“they’re estimating it’ll cost about half a billion to build … it’s pure madness”
– Council source

Excerpts from Mayor Tom Tate’s official policy as he went into the 2016 local government elections seeking a second term

“They are also trying to tell councillors that they’ll be getting over 200 ships a year from the moment it opens, but that just flies in the face of everything we know about the industry and the local conditions here. They’d be extremely lucky to get a quarter of that – surely the councillors can’t be that stupid?” added the source.

Mayor Tom Tate has long sold the city on the very glamorous and enticing idea of a port of call – as a place where ships simply turn up, passengers get off and spend up big in the city.  At the last election the voting public backed those themes and ideas, and the mayor was re-elected with a majority first-preference vote showing support for his various promises, including the official election policy for a modest and less-intrusive port-of-call option.

Tate’s terminal, in a very rudimentary sense. The crude computer graphics fail to show any associated development, infrastructure or other key and significant components of a $500 million home port

“This will be a port of call only, so that means no refuelling, and it’s mainly for people to get on and off,” said Mayor Tate on Channel 7 news, ahead of the last election.

As recently as March 23rd this year, Mr Tate reaffirmed his commitment to the Gold Coast terminal only ever being a ‘port of call’ and not requiring all of the invasive components that a full home turnaround port would deliver.

“My position hasn’t changed — a ‘port of call’ is what I want and if it doesn’t tick all the environmental boxes, I’ll be the first one to vote it down,” Tate told the Gold Coast Bulletin in a conversation lambasting Australian surfing icon Mick Fanning, who had made his views public in opposing the proposal.

“This will be a port of call only, so that means no refuelling”
– Mayor Tom Tate before the leaking of council’s oceanside terminal feasibility report

This pristine beach surf break is in the exact place the mayor wants to place an 850m long swell-blocking rock wall and double-berth international shipping port. Mayor Tate has continued to tell the city that the terminal project would not impact the surf breaks nearby, which is at direct odds with the terminal design’s written purpose – to literally block swell from hitting nearly 1km of our beaches, including the Philip Park beach breaks, and provide ships an environment with little to no waves or surf in it // Photo Luke Sorensen

Mayor Tate is now backing the two-ship berthing option and continued boasting about the double berth capacity on his Facebook Page yesterday, without acknowledging to rate payers the true cost estimations of his choice.

The two-berth option is understood to cost even more than the half billion already estimated for a single berth terminal.

Council sources told LiQUiFY that the likelihood of a private investor taking the project on would be next to nil, and that the only option left may be for tax and rate payers to cough up their hard-earned cash for Mayor Tate’s pet project dream.

Other options suggested to LiQUiFY about funding the half-billion-dollar bill have included:

  • Get rate payers to pay for it
  • Hold a massive ‘fire sale’ on city parks and public assets
  • Beg the state government to pay for it even though sources close to the Premier’s Department have told LiQUiFY they are not at all interested
  • Ask ASF and their Chinese-Government-owned developer partners to fund it, and offer them a huge plot of free public parkland on The Spit in return
  • Sell the 16,000 square metres of public land known as Bruce Bishop car park and Neal Shannon Park in Surfers Paradise, which was cooincidentally approved to be sold by council last week to fund Tate’s pet projects

Mayor Tate stumbled through questions at a press conference held on the subject last week. When asked specifically about how the terminal will be funded, he couldn’t elaborate on any type of funding source.

When asked if the initial cruise terminal would be a home port or not, the mayor gave unclear responses that failed to specify particulars.

With the now-exposed cost blow-out and the only proposal left on the table being for a half-billion-dollar full home port with associated infrastructure, it would appear that the rate payers and voters of the Gold Coast have well and truly been fed half the story at twice the price again.



Despite Mayor Tate’s promise and pledge that if the terminal didn’t tick the environmental box he would abandon it, a controversial decision from the Federal Government’s Environment Department last week to rule the proposal as not a ‘controlled action’ did in fact leave a few environmental boxes unticked – at least for now.

LiQUiFY can also exclusively reveal that a major step in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) process has potentially been skipped, and that the reasons as to how this may have occurred have left opponents of the proposal dumbfounded.

Speaking today to a spokesperson from the Save Our Spit group, LiQUiFY learned that a crucial standard component of the process which would have allowed the resubmitted application to be opened to a second round of public submissions and scrutiny may have mysteriously been skipped over.

“It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before and it’s got a lot of people talking,” said the spokesperson.

A crucial step of the federal environmental approval process has been skipped according to Save Our Spit researchers. Source:

Save Our Spit added that they had been in contact with an EPBC applications expert to learn more, telling LiQUiFY, “It’s clear that this proposal fell into the ‘Not Controlled Action – Particular Manner’ bracket according to the Government. It is standard then for the Government to call on the proponent (council) for more information, and they did, but they must also then publish the updated conditions and specific controls – the ‘particular manner’ in which the approval is granted – so that the public is granted another ten-day period to make submissions to be considered by the minister. There’s been nothing published, they just skipped ahead and said, ‘here Tom, here’s what you wanted.’

“The due process was completely abandoned by the Federal Environment Minister and his department. Our guy who had been doing these applications for years says he’s never seen anything like it and is quite shocked.”

The Save Our Spit spokesperson was adamant that the EPBC process had been totally abandoned by the Federal Government and that the due process in the handling of the application appeared to have been modified to benefit the proponent.

“We’ve crunched all of the possible reasons the Feds would just skip such a crucial and fundamentally necessary part of the legislated process – we’re left with only one thing and that’s political interference,” they told LiQUiFY.

Further to the mayor’s repeated claims that if the proposal didn’t ‘tick all the environmental boxes’ he would be the first to scrap it, it appears the conditions imposed by the Federal Government have highlighted environmental concerns for marine wildlife in the area, acknowledging that both the construction and operation of the terminal could impact protected species.

“They’re not going to be able to see turtles or grey nurse sharks that may be at the Scottish Prince … are they going to stop work? We doubt it”
– Save Our Spit Alliance

The Government’s own EPBC flow chart (displayed here) calls for a ten-working-day period where the public can make submissions regarding any controls or conditions they have imposed on an application.

In a statement from the Federal Government’s Environment Department, it was admitted that the project would be, ‘subject to certain requirements to protect nationally significant listed species’.

The Federal Government has recommended spotters be stationed on the structure to alert workers to any approaching marine life, and enact a mandatory 30-minute stop work period.

Save Our Spit says that the measures are laughable and will do very little to protect marine life.

“They’re not going to be able to see turtles or grey nurse sharks that may be at the Scottish Prince, or whales and dolphins from that structure, and are they going to stop work? We doubt it,” said the Save Our Spit spokesperson.



It has also been revealed that the new oceanside terminal feasibility report commissioned by the council and paid for by rate payers has been produced by the same three firms that are listed as ‘project partners’ in the ASF China Consortium, which is proposing five highrise towers and a casino development directly across the road from Tate’s proposed terminal site.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Aecom and MacroPlan Dimasi, which have completed and supplied the latest report into the feasibility of the oceanside cruise terminal idea were also involved when the original studies into the earlier plan were investigated for a multi-billion dollar private city and cruise terminal to be built inside the Broadwater at Wavebreak Island.

The clear relationship the three firms have to both development proposals calls into question claims by the mayor that the ASF Casino Resort and Cruise Ship Terminal are not linked.

Both proposals will require the State Government to give the proponents large sections of Crown public land on The Spit – something that the current Labor Government campaigned strongly against and vowed never to do.

The proposed terminal site (left) is actually a well-trafficked public parkland, dedicated to Prince Philip of England and part of the southern component of the Federation Walk Reserve. Right is the proposed ASF highrise casino project site. Both proposals are on Crown public land and have caused significant controversy and division amongst Gold Coast residents. A recent Reachtel poll of Gold Coasters found that over 70% of residents did not want the ASF development on The Spit but the state government is refusing to end it, pushing ahead with the process regardless. The mayor continues to deny the two proposed projects are in any way linked // image supplied

Original terms set down by the previous LNP State Government stated that ASF would not be granted a casino license until they produced a functional and successfully operating cruise terminal.

Then Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Jeff Seeney, was explicit that the government terms would be to only grant favourable development options to ASF after the ‘prior establishment and ongoing operation of a successful cruise ship terminal’ by the foreign developer.


It is understood that these conditions reflected the fact that ASF were only ever invited to develop on The Spit or in the Broadwater so that the city may get a cruise terminal at no cost to ratepayers.

Under the new Labor Government the Wavebreak Island project has been abandoned, however, ASF have still been invited to submit a proposal for an integrated resort and tower development on The Spit and apply for a casino license. This time around they are not require to provide for the construction of a cruise ship terminal.

Mayor Tate has repeatedly denied that the proposed ASF casino development and his own oceanside terminal project are in any way linked, despite being across the road from each other and featuring the exact same companies undertaking feasibility studies for both projects.

Last Monday Mayor Tate spoke at a media conference and said, “And be clear, this cruise ship terminal project is separate, and it’s a project of its own, nothing to do with any other project nearby.”

The angle of view that ASF doesn’t want the public to see, showing their obtrusive development plan and how it, and an international cruise ship home port, could scar the mostly-undeveloped Spit area permanently // Artist impression supplied via Save Our Spit


ASF China Consortium’s main construction arm and likely financier, should it get approval for any of its Broadwater or Spit development proposals, would be the China State Construction and Engineering Corp. According to a report in The Australian, ‘the World Bank refused to grant a $232 million loan to another member of the ASF Consortium, China State Construction Engineering, over concerns it had engaged in corrupt practices on a different road project in The Philippines. The World Bank investigators suspect the company had also ­attempted to rig bids and had worked in a cartel with firms on other contracts’.

Separately, another ASF China Consortium member previously listed on their website is CCCC Guangzhou Dredging, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company.

In 2011 the World Bank also announced it had debarred CCCC ‘and all of its subsidiaries’ from participating in World Bank projects over bid rigging and other corrupt practices of an entity it acquired in 2006. The five-year ban and debarment was lifted early in 2017.

Both companies – the CCCC and CSCEC – are state-owned (government) Chinese companies which stand to secure a prime parcel of public Crown public waterfront land on The Spit if the state government proceeds with and grants them land and approval for their casino and tower resort plan.

The outcome of Thursday’s council meeting may not be known for some time and the reports into the feasibility and potential risk factors of the oceanside terminal are being withheld from the public for the time being, but it is likely the council and mayor will face significant public backlash once the reports are made public.

LiQUiFY will be following the issue closely.

Much More Than A Jam, Tea Party & Superjesus Benefit Show Set To Be Unmissable Live Event


Why Gold Coast music fans NEED to be at this show on Easter Saturday: Tea Party and Superjesus fans rejoice, you’re in for something very special this Saturday night as the two elements combine forces to support their close friend Corey De Luka in the mother of all battles against cancer.

The special-event gig, befittingly called Corey’s Jam, will showcase the best of the two bands and much more in a super show that’s already been billed one of the rarest gigs you’ll ever witness.

The Tea Party’s Jeff Martin and Jeff Burrows will be performing at the Coolangatta Hotel, Easter Saturday the 15th

Fronting the acts is the mighty Jeff Martin from Canadian lords The Tea Party and our own home-grown Sarah McLeod from Superjesus heading up the bill.

Joining Martin on stage will be none other than The Tea Party’s percussion-master Jeff Burrows and Baby Animals’ drummer Mick Skelton will be backing Sarah, along with a bevy of other acts and musicians, although there’s no doubt that the bands will rip into an all-star jam later in the night we’ve been told.

Corey, a well-loved local musician and loving father, was recently diagnosed with kidney and lung cancer. The shocking news came without warning and struck a devastating blow.

Corey’s love for music and the music community is the stuff of legend and his many friendships immediately shone through with dozens of offers to help, including that of his close friend Jeff Martin who has broken away from the middle of a Tea Party tour overseas to fly in especially for this event.

All money raised will go to assist Corey in his fight, and in particular it will help keep his family afloat as he undergoes treatment whilst being unable to work.

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#000000″ highlight_opacity=”0.3″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]COREY’S JAM – Music For Life
Sat April 15th 2017 – Doors at 5pm
Coolangatta Hotel
Full details at
Tickets here at OZTIX

Corey’s love for music and the music community is the stuff of legend, and his own brand new band A World Away will be playing their debut show on the night – LiQUiFY caught up with Gold Coast music icon and Corey’s band mate, Rory Swane, on the eve of this special event.

LM: So how the hell did this epic little night come about?
RS: It came about because Corey has a really good friendship with Jeff Martin, having worked closely with him in the last couple of years, and has gotten to know Sarah (McLeod) from the joint tours they’ve done. It’s going to be an amazing night of music, but of course we’re trying to raise as much money as we can to help Corey. He owns his own business you know, and not being able to work has sort of severely hampered his financial situation. It’s also impacted the mother of his daughter and even though they are not together any more she is his business partner, so she’s lost her income too without him there to work.

Is it just going to be a little acoustic jam or is there a proper rock show on the cards?
Well, we’re definitely going to rock out, because we’re playing first and Jeff and Sarah … yeah it’s going to be a fucking epic rock show. It’s definitely not going to be tamed down by any stretch of the imagination. Sarah’s been playing stuff off her new album, Mick and Jeff had Revelator that played at Blues Fest in 2016, then obviously you’ve got Jeff and Jeff who’ve been playing together for 25 years or so. They can pull anything from the repertoire of those bands, they can play covers, they can jam and they can do whatever the hell they want, that gives them complete artistic freedom.

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]”It’s going to be a fucking epic rock show. It’s definitely not going to be tamed down by any stretch of the imagination.” – Rory Swane[/mk_blockquote]

How’s Corey travelling mate? It’s a pretty gnarly thing to be facing, something we all never want to even contemplate let alone face head on …
He’s fighting a very tough battle at the moment. He’s positive though, positive he’s going to kick it. He’s currently in hospital at the moment but he’s going to be out on day-release on Saturday to try and come down for the gig. He’s doing everything he can and staying as positive as he can to kick this thing’s arse you know, which is great. It’s um, it’s not easy.

And how has the response been from the local music family and what has it shown of our own local music community?
For me, the Gold Coast music industry, like the scene and all the players and everything like that; everybody does what they can to help each other out. Whether it be as simple as lending someone an amplifier for a gig or rehearsal, or filling in for each other at gigs … in terms of local music stores and industry stuff, Alan’s Billie Hyde has given us a guitar for the auction, Fender Australia has given us an acoustic guitar to put up, everybody has come together and really helped out … so many.


A World Away debut this Saturday in Coolangatta, with Corey De Luka (left) – Lead Guitars, Josh Larkin – Drums, Rory Swane – Bass and Pauly Galagher – Lead Vocals


And you guys (A World Away), it’s been a little bit of a secret you’ve formed this band with Corey, any thoughts on this first show on Saturday? We know Corey will be doing his best to be there so this will be something very special yeah?
Everyone sort of knows that Jeff and Jeff, The Tea Party and Sarah and Mick that are playing, but we’ve kept this new band with Corey under wraps for the last year, not many people know the music we have, nobody knows what sort of style we are, not many people know about our band so, look, we’re all really proud of the EP we’ve produced, that Corey has made, and the main thing is that Corey is playing on it which is just phenomenal – some of the parts he has written have just been amazing. That’s why we wanted to have Corey’s band on the bill for tomorrow – we want people to hear what Corey has done.

As for Corey possibly even playing?
At this brief moment in time, we think he will be playing, we did have a rehearsal last week but we won’t really know until the afternoon of the gig and that’s the situation we’re in. We have to kind of just take every day as it comes you know. He really wants to play and if it means that he can’t play the whole set, maybe one song or two songs … that’s the main thing, Corey’s health is the very main priority.

Corey’s Jam – Music For Life is set to be an unmissable event for all the right reasons, and one of those shows where you know every single component is truly worth something real.

Sat April 15th – Doors at 5pm – Coolangatta Hotel, Marine Parade COOLANGATTA
Tickets HERE AT OZTIX or on the door on the night if not sold out already. Full details at including how to donate, bid on the auctions or simply get behind this great cause.


Jeff Martin and Jeff Burrows from The Tea Party



Bali Rocked By Earthquake – People Sent Running Into Streets


A thunderous magnitude 6.4 earthquake has just struck in Bali, and reports are that a tsunami warning has been considered but not issued.

The earthquake struck at 7:10am local time (9:10am QLD time), about 5km east of Kuta, according to Geoscience Australia.

The earthquake came in two distinct phases and was enough to shake the place to the foundations, sending people running out of buildings and into the streets.

One person reported that she was thrown out of her bed by the seismic event.

Expat Gold Coast surfer Adam Bennetts, now living in Bali, said the quake was solid.

“Fuck how was that. Never felt one like that!”  he posted on Facebook.

Damage or injury reports are yet to come in, however warnings have been issued for people to be aware of potential aftershocks.


Randy Nauert Releases Unseen “Surfers” Film Edit Featuring Jimi Hendrix And Surfing Legends


Californian surf and music icon Randy Nauert has delivered a blast from the past with this previously unreleased edit from the all-time classic surf film “Surfers”

Originally released in 1990, the film was a musical and cinematic splendour that set the pace for surf film making over the coming decade.

This incredible edit features everything including the bruises, bails, barrels and brazen life that 20th-centruy surfers lived – not to mention some of the biggest names in surfing history bar none.

The film was directed by Bill Delaney, the featured a very young Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, Cheyne Horan, Shaun Tomson, Barton Lynch, Tom Carroll, Derek Ho, Sunny Garcia, Johnny Boy Gomez, Martin Potter, Mike Cruickshank, and the legendary King of Malibu, Miki Dora – although this classic Hendrix edit is credited to John Bass and Randy.

“Well, I stand up next to a mountain
Chop it down with the edge of my hand
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island
Might even raise just a little sand
‘Cause I’m a voodoo child
Lord knows I’m a voodoo child”

Randy says, “Great surf lyric eh? Think of the words and how they go with the images as you watch. Jimi Hendrix came to my partner Albert Grossman for management.

“After the meeting I gave Jimi “All Along The Watchtower” which he recorded on his “Electric Ladyland” album. Years later I asked his producer to participate in “Surfers, The Movie” for which I was providing the music. We used 4 of Jimi’s songs in the film.

“Here’s a cut from “Surfers” that I made with John Bass editing. This was not in the film but I thought it worth sharing.”




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