Port slipway ‘in safe hands’
STEVE Stonier and his workers have been let back into the slipway after reaching an agreement with the Port Douglas Marina management yesterday.
Last Friday the Port Douglas Marina management took possession of the slipway and evicted Mr Stonier, trading as FNQ Marine Institute and Island Point Marine Pty Ltd, last Friday.
The marina’s managing director Russel Mccart said the reason behind the takeover was because Mr Stonier was unable to meet his rent commitments for over a year.
“He fell further and further behind and we couldn’t forbear any long and told him to move but I had a meeting with Steve yesterday and worked out an amicable agreement,” he said.
“All issues are resolved and he will be going in on a temporary basis to fix up the last couple of boats and remove his stuff - it has been a good result.”
Mr Stonier spoke with the Gazette and said he was positive about the slipway’s future.
“You couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” he said.
“I’ll be returning to the slipway today to get the boats back in the water and resume operations at the slipway until a permanent manager can be found.
“I’ll be acting in an advisory role to help train the new slipmaster and the slipway can operate as normal until that occurs.
“All my full-time staff will be retained under the new slipmaster.”
Port Douglas Marina is in discussions to eventually move the slipway further up the inlet next to the Marano fuel depot.
“We have got a hand-shake deal with the Maranos and I trust them, the town won’t be without a slipway at any stage,” Mr Mccart said.
Mr Stonier said the continuation of the slipway along with marina managers promising space for fishermen’s trawlers in the redevelopment were positive steps for the future of the fishing industry in Port Douglas.
“The commercial fishery has been secured with Meridien’s commitment to retain space for the boats and incorporate a place for them to sell their catch as part of the redevelopment,” he said.
“And now the slipway has been secured as well.”
Boat owner Colin Simpson is breathing a sigh of relief after having his boat stuck in the slipway for the past week.
“It’s been a huge hassle because with Steve out, there’s no insurance in the yard,” he said.
“I have been working on my boat myself and was climbing over the fence to work - one day I left half my pants on the fence trying to get out.
“It’s good news and a good result for town - it’s important the slipway is maintained.”
Future assured: the Port Douglas slipway which was closed down for a week