Surfers Paradise ‘smells like a toilet’ and needs some tender love and care

Surfers Paradise has been told to clean up its act after the Central Chamber of Commerce was told the city “smells like a toilet”.

Division 10 candidate Mona Hecke said the local government needed a fresh mindset and a clearer action plan with more consultation with business owners to clean up the area, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.

“I don’t think it goes far enough. I’ve been spending time in Surfers Paradise with many of the retailers, and a lot of retailers haven’t seen or spoken to the current councillor,” she said, taking aim at area councillor Darren Taylor.

“Walk through Surfers Paradise – he’s (Cr Taylor) had four years to make improvements and it still smells like a toilet.”

Councillors had previously backed a $40 million “revitalisation” plan for Surfers Paradise.

But mayoral candidate Danielle Dunsmore says the city still looks “ugly’ and looks like a “detention centre”.

Councillor Darren Taylor said he recommended the community be consulted on the rest of the planned upgrade west to the Nerang River, and admitted more needed to be done to “improve the public realm”.

“Late last year 85 per cent of the community did endorse it. So that gives us the ability now to inject the whole $120 million into the improvements,” he said.

“There is a lot of talk in the room here from other councillors and candidates about Surfers Paradise, and here is the chance to step up. It’s here (the plan), it’s on its way right now. All talk, let’s get some action.”

“It’s a great area, great city. People are coming back to the Gold Coast. People do still love Surfers Paradise.”

Ms Hecke hit back at what she believed to be the same old story spouted by the council, urging local politicians to stop walking around with “rose-coloured glasses”.

She claimed locals are “crying out for basic council services like footpaths, park maintenance and better connectivity”.

“The word on the street is Surfers Paradise has had more visions than Nostradamus. The Surfers Paradise skyline undoubtedly is the most beautiful in the world, as far as I’m concerned. At a ground level – it’s another story,” she said.

Despite the gripes, the Gold Coast has “second wave” of migration following the Covid-19 pandemic, as Aussies fled capital cities in droves.

The Gold Coast became a popular destination for people to move to due to the weather and accessibility to services, employment opportunities, and not being bogged down by urban-city life.

“The pandemic [had] stimulated the whole thought process, and that was to get away from high-density areas where there was a greater risk of contracting Covid-19,” CEO of the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group Andrew Bell told news.com.au in September.

“We have a second wave as the friends and families of the first people who moved here three or four years ago … are now coming because the people who moved here love it so much that they tell their friends and family.

“So it’s kind of a second wave we’re experiencing presently.”

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