OUR ORGANISATION

With five rivers, 260km of navigable waterways and more than 750 hectares of lakes and dams to manage, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority plays a vital role in planning, managing and protecting the Gold Coast’s iconic waterways.

With boating registrations in the region growing at more than twice the State-wide growth rate, the responsibility for ensuring the Gold Coast’s waterways remain something that residents can use, understand, protect, respect, enhance and enjoy is crucial.

The Queensland Government established Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) on 1 December 2012 to deliver the best possible management of the Gold Coast waterways at reasonable cost to the community and government, while keeping regulation to a minimum. Other purposes under the GCWA Act include:

  • plan for and facilitate the development and management of the Gold Coast waterways over the long term in a way that is sustainable and considers the impact of development on the environment
  • improve and maintain navigational access to the Gold Coast waterways
  • develop and improve public marine facilities relating to the Gold Coast waterways
  • promote and manage the sustainable use of the Gold Coast waterways for marine industries, tourism and recreation.

Gold Coast waterways include all rivers, canals, lakes and dams within the City of Gold Coast local government area as well as the areas at the mouth of the Nerang River, Currumbin Creek and Tallebudgera Creek. Assets include the Gold Coast Seaway and Sand Bypass System, including interests in the associated Crown reserves of Doug Jennings ParkWavebreak Island and the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island – and a recognised network of 33 channels

We’re a statutory authority led by a decision-making board of seven members and Chief Executive Officer Hal Morris. The board is appointed by, and accountable to the Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy and Water Supply, the Honourable Mark Bailey MP.

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority Act (2012) requires GCWA to prepare a 10-year Waterways Management Strategy and an annual Waterways Management Program that provides a rolling 1+3-year investment plan. Investment under the Program must be consistent with the Strategy.

Gold Coast Boating

5 rivers
  • 700 commercially registered vessels
  • 40% increase in jetski registrations over the past 4 years
  • 28,000 recreational boats with registrations forecast to reach 33,000 by 2020

Gold Coast

12 M/visitors each year
  • 600,000+ residents, forecast to double to 1 million by 2050
  • Australia’s most biologically diverse city, home to more than 1300 animal and 1700 plant species
  • Australia’s largest marine precinct generating economic outputs worth $407 million with a flow-on to the Qld economy of $4446 million & 5178 jobs for Queenslanders

Our Gold coast waterways

260 km
  • 774 hectares of lakes and dams
  • Part of Moreton Bay which hosts 113,000 hectares of internationally significant listed wetlands

Last updated: 27 June 2017

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