Port slip­way ‘in safe hands’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.”

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Fu­ture as­sured: the Port Dou­glas slip­way which was closed down for a week

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