Yet again, Mother Nature has demonstrated her awesome power through the extended spate of wet weather we experienced in the early weeks of February. It was a real deluge, with more than half a metre of rain falling across most parts of our city.
There was some minor flooding but, for the most part, the Gold Coast got off lightly. We were very fortunate that ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi slid past and headed south without creating any major headaches.
The upside was days of great swells that provided memorable surfing conditions for those with the skill and courage to tackle the conditions. It is why our World Surfing Reserve from Snapper Rocks to Burleigh is so loved by surfers around the world. The rest of us can just chill and be dazzled by nature’s beauty.
It’s great to see that our artificial surf reef at Palm Beach worked a treat and minimised scouring and sand depletion — a sound investment in protecting our tourism assets.
And we see the results boosting our popularity. A little while back, I was thrilled to be able to preside over a massive citizenship ceremony where I swore-in 2908 new Australians — the largest ever held here. It was massive and very emotional.
All of these people were delighted to adopt a new homeland and live their lives in our city. I think they must have heard my message that this is the best place in all the world to live, work, play, and raise a family!
Speaking of young ones, we love to show children a good time and have just committed to $2 million in upgrades to playground equipment and new shade sails at 14 parks around the Coast. They’ll love it — and it gives parents and carers a break, too.
And while we’re thinking about our great lifestyle, let me encourage you to take a stroll across the new pedestrian and cycling bridge from Chevron Island to the Home Of The Arts at Evandale. It makes Surfers Paradise a short walk to the precinct that is fast becoming the cultural heart of our city. You can also enjoy a swim in the lake or just picnic around the shoreline. Brilliant!
Regular outdoor concerts are proving popular, and the new art gallery will soon be the largest in the nation outside the capital cities. The building is ready to top out and should be open to the public early next year. You’ll find free Wi-Fi in the precinct, with up to 4GB a day available on the city’s Surf Network.
Tom Tate, City of Gold Coast Mayor