Marina standoff worsens
THE deepening discord between Douglas Shire Council and The Reef Marina (TRM) over the redevelopment of the marina reached a new point yesterday.
At Tuesday’s general meeting the council voted unanimously to approve TRM’s preliminary application for the redevelopment.
The PA relates to land uses only, council has pointed out, and the DSC will not issue a development permit for the redevelopment of the duck pond basin until issues relating to the slipway and the commercial fishing industry are resolved, council has said.
On Tuesday the Reef Marina management issued a statement that welcomed the PA approval and said “the Douglas Shire councilllors voted unanimously to support The Reef Marina’s redevelopment masterplan”.
Yesterday the mayor, Julia Leu took strong objection to this statement.
“Council did no such thing and TRM’s claims are a gross misrepresentation of council’s decision and the planning process,” she said.
She said that until conditions relating to the location and operation of the fishing fleet and the slipway are resolved – and TRM “had not demonstrated that either of these issues are resolved” – then it is “factually incorrect and misleading to claim council support’s TRM’s redevelopment masterplan”.
After the meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Leu said that “on plans currently put forward to council by The Reef Marina, the future redevelopment of the site will diminish the presence of the primary functions of the port’s marine and fishing activities and remove the industrial and commercial land uses associated with the marine industry.
“Furthermore, the current application does not involve any proposal to relocate the commercial fishermen to an alternative site and the applicant contends that the slipway, which is currently closed, is unviable and does not propose to continue this land use activity.
“If both of these issues are not dealt with to the satisfaction of council, which currently they are not, then council is unlikely to issue a development permit.”
Mayor Leu said while it is pleasing that progress is being made on the marina redevelopment, the onus is on the applicant to ensure the community is not negatively impacted for the sake of a commercial development.
“A development application of this size is a complex process and there are a number of statutory requirements that need to be met.”
An artist's impression of a new public plaza adjoining the refurbished Duck Pond