THE future of the Port Douglas marina remains stagnant after the State Government accepted Meridien’s request for more time to accept the offer to purchase freehold tenure.
Meridien Marinas Port Douglas was granted the extension to purchase freehold tenure of the land and a new long-term lease for the marina by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
An earlier extension to agree to the State Government’s offer was due to expire on April 30, however DNRM confirmed a further extension was granted until August 6.
Douglas Chamber of Commerce president Phoebe Kitto called for more urgency to redevelop the prime waterfront site.
‘‘We would love to see either Meridien start to do some work on upgrading the facility or find a buyer prepared to invest in it and it’s going to be a lot more attractive to any buyer if they are able to have the freehold,’’ Ms Kitto said.
‘‘The marina is an important asset to Port Douglas and it’s vital that space gets upgraded and the necessary funds spent on it.
‘‘It is catalystic in more ways than one, if we can get the freehold to go through, then the State Government can fulfill its promise to reinvest those monies from the sale of the land into the Waterfront development.’’
DNRM executive director north region Andrew Buckley said the reason behind the decision followed a request from Meridien for an extension.
‘‘The DNRM considers all requests from land tenure applicants that seek additional time to consider offers and meet offer requirements,’’ he said.
Managing director of the Port Douglas Marina Russell McCart did not want to comment.
A bid for the marina by Chinese businessman Grant Sheng collapsed in March during the due dilligence process.