The Death of the Gold Coast?

In deciding where to buy real estate the old saying of location, location, location applies in very instance.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen starry-eyed First Home Buyers fall in love with a fully fitted kitchen with “soft-close” drawers, shiny glass-filled bathrooms and an immaculately groomed lawn and outdoor area.

What they fail to realise is that those things can be made, built and reproduced almost anywhere.  Buying the cheapest block of land so that they can “afford” the luxury fittings and fixtures in the home of their dreams is a recipe for disaster.  All the “shiny things” fade when the west facing block of land on a roundabout has them frying in the heat and going barking mad in the noise every single day.

This is but one of a range of issues to be addressed before, during and after your purchase.

Even after you’ve made a wise “location” purchase, things do change.  I’ve seen formerly quite and serene reserves turned into noisy children’s playgrounds, ten blocks of land amalgamated, ten old houses demolished and a massive block of cheap and tawdry apartments erected next door to brand new homes.  Keep your eyes and ears open for suggested changes to your area that may impact your lifestyle and take a lot of value from your home.

Always look forward and scan the horizon for dangers.  Ask yourself why you live where you do.  What are the lifestyle factors that led you to move and buy where you’ve bought?

These dangers are not always apparent and can come from the least expected sources.

We expect our large companies to act responsibly and not put us in danger from their operations.  Likewise we trust (often foolishly) our Government and statutory authorities to regulate our environment and keep us safe.  That doesn’t always work and there are plenty of stories where people have lost their homes as a result of large corporate and government screw ups.

But Mother Nature can really throw a spanner, blue whale, hurricane or other element in the works and mess up the best laid plans.

I don’t mean to be alarmist but I think the Gold Coast is in danger of becoming a Ghost Town.

Mmmm – now that’s a big statement but I’m really serious.

People come to the Gold Coast for all sorts of reasons but the main attraction (in my eyes) is our magnificent beaches, warm water and at times, incredible surf breaks.

I’ve was a volunteer surf life saver in my younger days, rescuing hundreds of people from the surf here by swimming, torpedo tube, rescue board and IRB (Rubber Duckie – great fun!).  We would scan the water for most swimmers biggest fear, sharks.  Fixed and rotary wing aircraft gave and continue to give us a bird’s eye view of the spoiling surf, keeping us safe from these teeth filled killing machines.

But what if something so deadly, so dangerous and virtually invisible, moved into Gold Coast surf zones?  A documented killer with a nasty track record.

I’m speaking of the Micro-Killer, the infamous Irukandji jelly fish.

I did 3 years with the Air Force in Townsville in far north Queensland so know about these deadly stingers, but to see and hear about them infesting waters as far south as Fraser Island has me wondering.

I was body surfing yesterday and was hit by a large blue bottle (Portugese Man-O-War stinger). Boy, did that hurt!

But blue bottles rarely kill anyone and we deal with them appearing in the surf whenever a north easterly wind has blown for a few days.  Lifesavers and locals know about them and know what to do, but Irukandji are a very different story.  These things are tiny, nearly invisible and they will kill you.  One source says its venom is 100 times as potent as that of a cobra and 1,000 times as potent as that of a tarantula spider.

If these stealthy little killers are sighted and confirmed closer to the Gold Coast in coming years and look like making their way here, I’d be seriously considering a move to Byron Bay or Ballina to get away from them.

For more information – please see this ABC News Video and refer to Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin’s website…


Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin



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