Preserving the Gold Coast equivalent of New York's Central Park was a driving factor in the Queensland government rejecting plans to build a $3 billion casino in the city.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed on Tuesday her cabinet had decided not to support the proposed integrated resort at the Southport Spit, put forward by Chinese-backed developer ASF.
Ms Palaszczuk said community desire to preserve the parkland site for future generations and likely transport issues associated with the development had driven the Labor government to reject the plan.
"This is a unique site ... the equivalent to what Central Park is to New York," she told reporters.
"It should be preserved for generations."
Ms Palaszczuk said ASF's proposal, which included the construction of five high-rise towers, would have meant increased rates and taxes for locals to fund transport solutions.
"I am not going to do that," she said.
Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate, an unabashed supporter of the proposal, took a philosophical approach to Tuesday's decision.
"It's a captain's call ... as a little lieutenant I'm just gonna make it the best for our city," he said.
"My attitude now is that the focus will be on master planning and as everyone knows, I would want a Central Park that'll be world class."
The master plan, which is expected to take 18 months to develop, will not rule out development on the southern end of the Spit but there will be a height limit of three storeys.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the $4 million bill for the community consultation process was "worthwhile".
Save Our Broadwater vice-president and former Labor MP Judy Spence hailed the rejection of ASF's proposal as "marvellous" but said there was still work to be done.
"It's not over because we don't have the LNP committed to the same three-storey height limit," she told AAP.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the decision had sent a message the Queensland government was "closed for business".
"(It sends) a message that you can consult for years in good faith with this government and then at the 11th hour, with an election around the corner, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor can pull up stumps," he said in a statement.
But Queensland Greens candidate Kirsten Lovejoy said the government now needed to make a similar decision for the Queen's Wharf casino development in Brisbane.
"Last election the Labor party promised no asset sales and now they're progressing with a plan to privatise 10 per cent of the CBD to build a mega casino," she said in a statement.
"Now that they've finally listened to people on the Gold Coast it's time to do the same here in Brisbane."
Ms Palaszczuk said the casino licence would stay on the Gold Coast for future development proposals.