The Gold Coast Sikh Foundation has unconditionally acquired a large parcel of land for the establishment of Gold Coast’s first official Sikh Gurdwara.
GOLD domes are set to rise in Helensvale with plans to build the city’s first Sikh temple.
And the group behind the project say they welcome those who have doubts with open arms.
Civic and religious leaders have welcomed plans for the place of worship on an 8300 sq m site on Shepperton Road, adjacent to the Helensvale North exit on the M1 motorway.
Plans submitted to city hall show the temple would also include an education facility with two classrooms, a library and a caretaker’s residence.
It has been put forward by the Gold Coast Sikh Foundation, which hopes to begin construction later this year if it is given the green light by the council.
Foundation founder Surjit Singh said the growing population of devotees on the Gold Coast prompted the need for a temple.
“We thought Helensvale would be an ideal central place for the Gurdwara but it will not be just for Sikhs, it will be open to anyone who wants to come in, be it Christians, Muslims or atheist,” he said.
“I want to make clear, this is not a mosque and it will be inclusive for everyone and anyone who wants to come in and we welcome them.”
The Helensvale site neighbours two existing churches, the Eternity Church and St Mina and St Anthony Coptic Church.
The nearest Sikh temples are at Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane and Murwillumbah in northern NSW.
The Foundation has applied to council to operate the temple seven days a week, starting at 4am.
Application documents ask that it would operate from 4am-6am and again from 5pm-9pm seven days a week, with additional opening between 8am and 10am on Saturdays and 8am-2pm on Sundays.
Mr Singh said the development could also prove a boon for the local economy, both as a wedding venue and as a magnet for the Sikh community.
“There is the annual Australian Sikh Games sporting event which brings lots of people from all over the world to compete,” he said.
“After the Commonwealth Games we would love to be involved here on the Coast and we would be able to take part using the some of the city’s sporting fields.”
The regular congregation would be around 80 people, with larger audiences of around 200 expected between six and eight times a year for special occasions on the Sikh calender.
There would also be a carpark with space for 60 vehicles included in the development.
Rob Davey, pastor of the neighbouring Eternity Church, welcomed the news.
“It’s good to see the Gold Coast growing,” he said.
Public comment opened last week and runs until February 20.
No objections have been received.
City planning boss Cameron Caldwell welcomed the application and said if approved, it would provide a strong centre for the Sikh community.
“It is encouraging that the Sikh community is hoping to have a permanent home here on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Council will consider this application and make a determination in due course.”