22013May

Bringing Springbrook “back to life”

Lately, there’s been some public dialogue about the challenges Springbrook Mountain has faced over the past years, reportedly plagued with decisions of previous state governments that has apparently stymied growth and created prohibitive regulations for tourism businesses to ply their potentially lucrative trade.

The last 12 months I’ve had the privilege of meeting many residents and businesses from Springbrook and without wanting to make comment on previous government decisions, I’ve been trying to apply a fresh set of eyes to the challenges Springbrook Mountain faces. One characteristic I’ve observed common to many on the Mountain is a fiery passion for “the best for Springbrook”, defined by whatever set of actions the individual determines can achieve that “best”. I’m convinced that harnessing that passion into some common goals could be productive although, granted, I’m relatively new to any advocacy objectives for our local World Heritage listed area, so I do tread carefully when attempting to lead some sort of charge for better outcomes.

In a recent Gold Coast Bulletin article, Ros Bates, State MP for Mudgeeraba, was quoted as saying Springbrook “is dying (and) it has been since 2005”.springbrook

Ros would know. She’s been an active commentator and committed community partner in our area for many years now. Ros and I meet regularly to address common challenges in our constituencies, including those in Springbrook. We’ve been talking most recently regarding improving safety and signage on Springbrook Rd, delivering better pathways and infrastructure, and optimising the use of community open space. Ros and I share a similar view about the “big hearts” and fighting spirit of the Springbrook residents. 

In the midst of what appears to be doom and gloom, I thought it appropriate to outline some of the steps the City of Gold Coast has been taking over the past 12-18 months or so to enable businesses on Springbrook Mountain and supplement the State Government’s initiative to improve the economy.

  • Implement Springbrook Visioning Plan 2011
    • identify key management areas and implement recommendations to improve Springbrook’s tourism in accordance with carrying capacity and in turn, economic sustainability
  • Complete and implement recommendations Springbrook Signage Audit 2012
    • identify ways to improve visitor way-finding
  • Springbrook Business Mentoring Program (Jan-June 2013)
    • 6 companies are receiving one-on-one mentoring to develop and/or update marketing and business plans
  • Assistance to develop the Springbrook Chamber of Commerce social media and other websites
  • Springbrook Tourism Destination Action Plan (2012)
    • included a community workshop to identify issues, target markets and visitor statistics, audit on product/services available, SWOT analysis and identified priority actions
  • Encourage Springbrook businesses to engage with Gold Coast Tourism for promotional opportunities and align with initiatives such as Tourism Australia’s ‘Australia’s Green Cauldron’ National Landscape program.
  • Currently undertaking a study to determine the most suitable site for a visitor information gateway
  • Springbrook Tourism Working Group formed to progress issues and tourism projects
    • (membership includes the Chamber of Commerce, Springbrook Mountain Community Association, GECKO, Communities for Sustainable Futures (CSF) and Springbrook Wilderness Appreciation Group (SWAG))

Council is very committed to play our role working with Springbrook Mountain to identify ways it can assist the development of tourism, while protecting the natural environment and preserving the lifestyle in order to provide long-term economic sustainability and certainty for businesses.

I am very much encouraged by the work of Springbrook groups lately, taking matters into their own hands to drive three particular events which I’m very proud to promote. Firstly, Springbrook Chamber of Commerce invited Jazz singer Vince Jones to the Mountain last month for a “Jazz in the Rainforest” concert. I’m told the event was sold out and a phenomenal success. Kudos to Anastasia for her work as the brainchild of this event.

ANZAC Day on the Mountain this year was a privilege to be a part of. Over 70 made the dawn service and several hundred attended the morning service celebrating the service  and sacrifice of Australians in conflicts of the past 100 years. John, Jeff and Colin did a great job.

Finally, Mfest (A Celebration of Motherhood) is being held on the 11th May and this unique event fills an important niche for many mothers in the area around Mothers Day. Maryan is doing some excellent work raising the profile of the event in the Gold Coast community.

I want to encourage you to drive on up and check Springbrook Mountain out for yourself. Beautiful views, challenging and interesting bushwalks, great cafes and accommodation, the best fudge in the world (in my opinion), and a wonderful friendly community well worth the visit.

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