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Airport Zoo

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Crikey, all aboard for the airport zoo Peter Morley The Courier-Mail April 20, 2004 BRISBANE Airport Corporation has held preliminary discussions with Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin about establishing a theme park on its spare land. The talks were revealed yesterday by corporation chief executive officer Koen Rooijmans who said Irwin was considering the deal. Irwin, who runs the Australia Zoo tourist attraction at Beerwah, has also met the Brisbane City Council about setting up a theme park at Boondall adjoining the Entertainment Centre. Those talks were with the administration led by former mayor Tim Quinn who suggested it might go on council-owned greenspace. Mr Quinn's successor, Liberal Campbell Newman has ruled out using greenspace for commercial ventures. "I am dead against the council's Labor administration trying to give away a large chunk of the Boondall wetlands to Steve Irwin so he can relocate Australia Zoo," Mr Newman said last month. Mr Rooijmans said the airport had ample space along the western side of Airport Drive and near the museum housing aviator Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith's Southern Cross. "It is an interesting site and quite ideal for what Mr Irwin has been talking about – a theme park that is Australia's equivalent of Disneyland," Mr Rooijmans said. "We set out our conditions and he is considering them." Mr Rooijmans said it would be "really good for Brisbane and the airport" if the theme park were set up on corporation land. The corporation was waiting for Irwin to "come back" . "He may have been distracted – he had a lot of attention at the end of last year," he said. "I must say I feel sorry for him over that. "I assumed that slowed things down a bit." Irwin was not available yesterday but a spokesman said he was consolidating at Beerwah. "There are no plans to do anything at this stage – we are not planning any move," the spokesman said. "The Bus is now leaving for Australia Zoo, Beerwah, Queensland"

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That's the best I've heard yet! The area is swampy flat land, high salinity (good luck growing anything but mangroves there!) and you'll have planes flying over every five minutes! This alleged park is meant to be bush/outback/crocodile themed right? So this dead flat, empty land will be planted up with eucalypts to fill it in and make it feel like the bush? Then you've got incredibly noisy planes to ruin any atmosphere the place could have. Height restrictions will limit the place from having anything but the smallest rides and attractions - I doubt that with restrictions they'd even be able to get away with 10m. There's a reason there's nothing but grass and small shrubby trees surrounding the airport. Good to see Campbell Newman's against Irwin using Brisbane's land. The guy's stinking loaded. If he wants to set up his own theme park, he should do it without trying to sway politicians with his "I'll take it overseas if you don't give me what I want!" attitude.

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The idea of Steve Irwin setting up a theme park that is Australia's equivalent of Disneyland is quite a concern. I imagine we'd end up with another Leyland Brothers-style failed park on our hands

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The only equivalent to a Disneyland Australia could ever get would have Disney somewhere in its name. Sorry, but worldwide, no one has ever come close to pulling off anything nearly as great as a Disney park. Even Universal with their Islands of Adventure aren't quite in the same league. Just a peeve of mine, if it's not something you've picked up on in any posts of mine to do with Disney parks. :)

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Right next too the airport? What about the flying Kangaroos? I don't know about it, I mean when I land anywhere, I want to get as far away from the friggen airport as I can. The idea of visiting an attraction on Airport grounds sounds to me like the most mundane activity one can imagine. Also, anyone whose ever been to Currumbin Sanctuary will know that low flying planes can really put guests off. Still, its not the worst idea put forward, and I don't see why he shouldn't be 'subsidised' for it. The government subsides private commercial activities all the time (Gold Coast convention centre being the most obvious example), so I don't see why this is any different. The international exposure is an obvious enough reason to try and get the thing to go ahead. Plus the added employment, more business for local supply companies, sounds like something that you'd want in your district (unless your from Sydney). If it fails? Nah, it won't fail. The good folks up there at Aussie Zoo are going from strength to strength. Everyone who visits the zoo up there seem to rave about the place. I don't know what it is, but they do something up there very well that keeps people very happy, so best of luck to 'em.

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Yeah, subsidise it by all means, just don't give away council-owned land (i.e. ratepayer's land). There's plenty of land in and around Brisbane that could be developed that's not a significant part of a significant nature reserve. Remember, he's not building a Wildlife park here, he's building a theme park. That's not worth sacrificing a portion of one of Brisbane's only remaining reserves. I still think that the best place for him to build his park is up at the Sunshine Coast. Build it next to or near Australia Zoo, throw in a nice themed resort and you've just made it a destination. People currently don't go to the Sunshine Coast solely to visit the zoo. Build a second park, with the rides and whatnot and you've got yourself the next Gold Coast. There's already quite a strong tourism element up north, at the moment it's really a domestic location with very few foreign visitors like at the Gold Coast, but those people just go where the cheesy attractions take them. If he'd just stop trying to show up the Caloundra City Council just because a few councillors don't like him much (probably for good reason :)).

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An attraction of some sort at the airport is a good idea. People who are on an overnight stop over or a short stay would be able to just drop in. However due to height restrictions it shouldn’t be a theme park, due to noise it shouldn't be a wildlife park. So what alternative is there? If The Croc Hunter wants to build a theme park why doesn't he adjoin it to his Zoo? If not directly then just down the road maybe. I haven't been there so I’m not sure what is around the area, in terms of land. Does anyone else find it strange that Steve has got three tiger cubs? I thought the whole idea of Australia Zoo was to promote the conservation of Australian animals. Maybe he plans to do a Tiger Island style attraction when he opens the new park. "The Bus is now leaving for Steves Well, Western Australia"

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I think you'll find that he's changed tact a bit: He wants to turn his park into the world's best zoo, with an Asian section and what not. He's already got Elephants Tiger Cubs and Otters (which have got to be one of the cutest things out there).

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