THUMBS UP: New-look East Shores is first class
OPINION: As the saying goes: “If you build it, they will come.”
That surely will ring true with Gladstone’s premier new attraction, East Shores Stage 1B, after it was officially opened to the public this week.
The absolute waterfront parkland features the Auckland House Cafe, the multi-use cruise ship passenger terminal, boot camp facilities, a big-screen outdoor theatre, amphitheatre, basketball hoops and additional barbecue facilities.
The new precinct will also be the new home of the Gladstone Maritime Museum when it is relocated, which will work in conjunction with tours of the HMAS Gladstone.
Hutchinson Builders, that helped deliver the multi-award winning East Shores 1A precinct to the community in 2014, partnered yet again with Gladstone Ports Corporation to deliver 1B.
Going back to that quote “If you build it, they will come”, Monday’s official opening did not have Kevin Costner, but it did have Peter Corones and his passion and enthusiasm was infectious.
The Corones playbook even had some descriptions from left-field, but why not on such a momentous moment for the community?
“I coined the phrase, this is the ‘cappuccinorisation and chardonnaysation’ of our waterfront,” the GPC chairman said.
“And here it is - looking right across the harbour while folk are enjoying the industrial tourism that takes place each and every hour, each and every day, each and every week.”
It was fitting that Mr Corones was the one fronting the media at the launch, because to fully appreciate where you’ve come, you have to understand where you’ve come from.
“When I grew up in Gladstone in the 50s, Gladstone was an entirely different place,” he explained.
“If you look back across where, for instance Spinnaker Park is, that was a big mud flat.
“As they often said, the sand flies were that big you could throw a saddle over them.
“So that beautiful Spinnaker Park and the lovely East Shores, and Marina Parklands, now provides a world-class foreshore experience for our community.”
Add to that, the new East Shores Stage 1B precinct, and you have a tourism cocktail that is sure to be a drawcard for CQ “day trippers” as well as visitors from both Australia and overseas.
It’s exciting to think that East Shores could still get even better.
Mr Corones said Stages 2 and 3 were in the pipeline and potentially a fourth.
“The community is always upper-most in the mind of the port, because we believe that the community needs to have the balance between industry, the environment and the community working together,” he said.
But enough of us talking it up, you really should get down there and experience East Shores for yourself.
FOOTNOTE: Remember to practice social distancing.
Editor, The Observer.