Gladstone Ports Corporation chairman Peter Corones (right) chats with Daniel Lato about the East Shores precinct where a new stage opened this week. Photo supplied.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chairman Peter Corones (right) chats with Daniel Lato about the East Shores precinct where a new stage opened this week. Photo supplied.

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 spectacular view from the Auckland House Cafe. Photo supplied.
The spectacular view from the Auckland House Cafe. Photo supplied.

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.”

There are plenty of grassed areas for the family to enjoy and the new precinct will also be the new home of the Gladstone Maritime Museum when it is relocated. Photo supplied.
There are plenty of grassed areas for the family to enjoy and the new precinct will also be the new home of the Gladstone Maritime Museum when it is relocated. Photo supplied.

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.

Gladstone's newest attraction - the Auckland House Cafe at the East Shores Stage 1B precinct. Photo supplied.
Gladstone's newest attraction - the Auckland House Cafe at the East Shores Stage 1B precinct. Photo supplied.

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.

Darryn Nufer,

Editor, The Observer.

RELATED COVERAGE:

REVEALED: Bird’s eye view of new East Shores stage

Jewel in waterfront crown opens today

PHOTOS: Inside the $29.5m East Shores redevelopment



Paramedics called to man with ‘stab wound’

Premium Content Paramedics called to man with ‘stab wound’

UPDATE: Emergency services crews and police raced to a caravan park this...

‘SAD’: Trophies for junior netball team stolen

Premium Content ‘SAD’: Trophies for junior netball team stolen

“It should be safe for people to be able to have parcels delivered to their house.”...

Drag racers gear up for round five at Benaraby

Premium Content Drag racers gear up for round five at Benaraby

The Off Street Meet is on tonight and Championship round five tomorrow.