‘This has literally wrecked the boating industry’
A GOLD Coast marine identity says fining homeowners for parking boats and trailers on the street will sink the city's recreational boating scene.
Hair salon, property and boat sales tycoon Stefan Ackerie said the controversial push by Gold Coast City Council will put people off boat ownership.
The council is working on a new fines regime for those parking caravans, trailers and boats under 7.5m on the street or moving them onto front yards.
Under proposed new laws, revealed in the Bulletin, city officials could dish out multiple fines for repeat offenders in an attempt to get people keep their toys in the garage.
Mr Ackerie, who owns Stefan Boating World at Coomera, said: "It stops people from owning a boat, when I first heard about it I was shocked.
"When I was young you had a home, you had a front lawn, you had a boat and you cleaned it, you showed it off. Today if you leave it there, they fine you.
"There's something like 20,000 new homes now, and when they move in they sign something saying they can't put anything out the front," he said.
"So that instantly takes out everybody that's new, and whoever comes in and buys those homes. This has literally wrecked the boating industry.
"In the last five years it's got worse, and worse, and worse. It's gone from new homes to (these new laws)."
Deputy Mayor Donna Gates is leading the charge for a crackdown, with a recent transport committee meeting successfully moved for officers to fast-forward a report by Christmas.
It comes almost a year after Robina councillor Hermann Vorster pushed for unregistered and derelict cars to be banned from front yards of properties to prevent "eyesores".
Cr Gates has cited safety concerns about "massive" boats and long trailers posing a hazard to pedestrians.
Boating Industry Association spokesman Neil Patchett said the council should consult with the community bringing in the new regime.
"There should be a conversation, a discussion of options and of solutions," he said.
"Going straight through to an enforcement action is less than ideal considering the significant role boating has on not just the lifestyle of the Gold Coast but the economy.
"They're going to penalise people for something that's legal today and make it illegal tomorrow."
Boating enthusiast Nic Welch called the plan "ridiculous".
"Why can you have a car on the road but not a boat-tow or a box trailer?" he said.
"It affects the (boating community) heaps especially if you're in a little townhouse, it would affect everyone.
"That would mean you can't own that particular boat or trailer."
Boatie Glenn Nicholls, who owns three boats and a ute, said: "What do I do? It's $120 a month just to store a boat. I disagree with it, it's a joke.
"They're saying you've got to store them," he said.
"If you were a smart person now and you've got a good bank manager, you'd buy a block of land and make a storage shed, you'd be a millionaire."