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In search of an excellent two ship cruise terminal

By Stuart Ballantyne - posted Thursday, 8 February 2024

Like two million other Australians, my wife and I love cruising, but would I leave the comfort of an established career and sacrifice it for the cruising industry? Well yes, I nearly did early in 2015, when the Queensland Government announced a snap election!

One of the small political parties rang me looking for a suitable Gold Coast candidate. "You would be the only person supporting a local Cruise Ship Terminal (CST), because no-one, not even the two big parties were supporting it" they told me. Fifteen years of lies, deception and marine misinformation by the Greens, had turned many of the local residents against it. Now even the two major parties were weak-kneed, despite high youth unemployment reaching 23% in some areas.

I took the task on, telling myself it's only for three weeks and it will look good on my CV for my next job! I had watched Braveheart several times and knew how to win from a minority position, so I gleefully entered the world of Pollie Waffling.


The local newspaper in this quiet period, seized on me being the only candidate standing in support of the CST. This immediately attracted a huge flurry of Green hate emails and Facebook rantings accusing me of being in the pocket of the Mayor and / or Asian Investors. What's more they claimed, the CST would destroy the Broadwater with mercury poisoning from dredging, which in turn would allow the whole of Southport to be washed into the Pacific Ocean. If lies were electricity, these clowns could power a small city.

The "Meet the Candidates" forum was even funnier with Greens supporters stacking the front rows, bellowing biliousness; living evidence that humanoid lifeforms can survive for hours in a spin drier and still spit venom.

Given my turn to explain myself, I focused on the job opportunities for school leavers by seizing the opportunity of the CST, resumption of the boat channel dredging (halted by Labor/Greens in 1996 on perception) to feed the local concrete industry demand of 400,000 cubic metres p.a. and of course, a low wash fast ferry service to help unblock our road traffic. In total up to 5,500 jobs, but the front rows were howling derision at my capitalist views.

Addressing the economy and job issues, the Labor candidate (with a science and law degree no less, she informed us), added to the delirium by promising to re-instate the 24,000 public servants sacked by the Newman Government. Straight faced, she added that this would assist small businesses like coffee shops. Unbelievable eh? My huge extended family includes nurses, teachers and police who always complain about too many paper pushing administration staff and not enough coal face staff.

While my jaw was still on the table, the 23 year old Greens candidate took the microphone and informed the assembled multitude that there was enormous scope in the local manufacture of rainwater tanks and solar panels, to help save the planet. Yes he was of Chinese descent, so his definition of local was open to interpretation.

On election day, being in an electorate with a "contentious issue", such as a cruise terminal, we found all of our eight polling booths stacked with ALP/Greens ring-in protestors with signs of "Save the Reef", "Save our Spit", "Save the Broadwater", noisily harassing undecided voters as they approached the booths.


Intrigued by one "Save the Reef" sign I asked the lady holding it, which reef she was referring to. "The Barrier Reef" she explained, "all the dredging that is going on within the reef is killing it !"

While the Barrier reef southern end is 300 nautical miles from this electorate, I offered her an apology that there were no remaining polar bears on the reef and pointed out there was no dredging going on at present, anywhere near the Barrier Reef.

An older Greens guy in this verbal tag team, started a torrent of verbal abuse, telling me that my kids and grandkids would lose this pristine waterway by the development of a CST. "What's more", this mental midget informed me, "bringing ships in here could possibly block the entrance at the Seaway if they lost steering, causing flooding of the Broadwater because the stranded ship would act like a plug in a sink!"

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About the Author

Stuart Ballantyne is just a sailor who runs Seat Transport Solutions who are naval architects, consultants, surveyors and project managers.

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