Ma­rina stand­off wors­ens

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Madi­son Wil­liams

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

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