Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Draining the Spit

we tried to go swimming yesterday on the beach which is 10Km from our home. When we got near to the location we found that the Police had closed the road.

We were taken aback as there was nothing published about this, no sign on the entry, nothing.

I called the Road Traffic authority this morning and found that the reason police had closed it was to "allow it to drain". So the Police were in effect doing what every trumpet player does, which is to drain the spit.

Nice expression and neatly sums up how I feel about the vast tide of people who now come here every holiday.

Since the 50's the Gold Coast has been portrayed by "business leaders" as variously:
  • a great place to invest in real estate
  • a grate place to come and be unemployed and just hang out
  • famous for fun
Its a circus .. come one come all ...

Well if you live here for long enough it starts to grate. If you've lived here for 10 years you start to get the shits with things because in that time development will have made it more crowded, more hassle, and more annoying then when you arrived.

The Spit is the classic example of blatant irresponsible development. Out on the Spit we have:
  • public boat access
  • public beach access
  • major hotels
  • major tourist attractions (like Sea World)
with one thin road as access into it.

As you can see you come in to the Gold Coast on (say) the Smith St entrance you funnel down to Marine Parade. From there there is really nowhere for those 4 lanes of traffic you came down the M1 in to go to, as the ultimate squeeze will happen as you go across the bridge and attempt to go into either Surfers Paradise, or over onto the spit (and up to Sea World or any of the other "attractions").

With thousands of cars attempting to get in and get out at the same time on a road with roundabouts no wonder it bloody clogs up.

Yesterday was Australia Day and like almost any other day which attracts heaps of people to the coast the place was filled up, and the Police blocked off the road access into the Spit.

What is annoying to a resident like me is that there was no sign, no warning, nothing at all to let me know that I should just stay inside my home and not go out.

Growing up on the Gold Coast you learn as a kid that holiday times mean your favorite places to hang out are suddenly over crowded with a bunch of people who have no respect for you and think that they own the place. Naturally this creates a feeling that tourist = negative.

Strangely enough things get worse when you get older as the only jobs in the area are in "service" positions kowtowing to and cleaning up after these people. It does not create any positive aspects for the local people. Actually this story can be found all over the world where tourists are encouraged to flock and frolic.

Back to the urban development issue, its worrying that this development was allowed to occur in the first place. It is more worrying that the Government has removed public transport into the place (notice the street called Railway street just there in Southport?)

Well that's where the old Southport railway station used to go to. From there its just a quick walk to the broardwater and easy to provide effective transport around the place.

But now the station is out at Helensvale ... so people just drive here.

Like all things in this country its all about allow someone with a lot of money to make more and the locals and general taxpayer to sort out getting around the problems created by it all.

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