Code of conduct to lift image at Abell Point Marina
“THE days of barefoot, unkempt, foul-mouthed employees wandering around this marina are over.”
These were the words of Abell Point Marina owner Paul Darrouzet at a meeting between marina-based business operators and representatives from Council, the police service, tourism industry and Maritime Safety Queensland on Tuesday night.
Mr Darrouzet called the meeting to discuss the implementation of a code of conduct that will apply to 66 commercial operators and 12 tenants with a workforce of about 700 people passing through the marina every day.
To partially explain the reasons for his actions, Mr Darrouzet held up a recent newspaper clipping about a local charter boat skipper charged with a number of offences including driving a vessel while under the influence of alcohol ( Whitsunday Times, November 28).
“We’ve trashed and are trashing the brand of Airlie and of Whitsundays and of Abell Point,” he said.
Spurred into action, Mr Darrouzet has put his foot down, saying he will no longer accept “the lack of public decorum that occurs around our marina” and a flagrant disrespect for no-smoking and no-parking signs.
“And lastly, what I won’t put up with is people arriving at work in my marina drunk and drugged, which they have been doing with gay abandon quite regularly,” he said.
Mr Darrouzet, who has invested heavily in the marina since taking over ownership in February 2013, said last year 420,000 people came through the place.
“That’s over half of all the visitors to the Whitsunday area coming through the marina,” he said.
He noted that most of the operators worked hard to provide a “firstclass service”.
“But unfortunately, like society, we’ve got to make rules for morons and dullards,” he said.
Mr Darrouzet likened the marina’s new code of conduct to the practices of a major project or mine site. He said its objective was “to foster a safe and behaviourally sensitive work environment”.
The code of conduct will apply to all business operators at the marina including contractors. It will cover dress standards, footwear, conduct, language, discrimination, wage and salary entitlements and drug and alcohol testing.
Mr Darrouzet said it was being implemented with the full support of marine and land-based authorities and that any operators who did not want to participate could leave.
“I’d rather an empty marina well run than a marina full of thugs,” he said.
While some operators were upset by what they described as a reaction to one incident, many were fully supportive of the new initiative.
Cruise Whitsundays CEO Nick Hortle said he absolutely applauded the new code with his company 100 per cent behind it.
Likewise, Prosail director Dave Molloy said good operators had nothing to fear.
“Most of the better operators shouldn’t even bat an eyelid at it because they’re our policies anyway,” he said.
Keith Roberts from Whitsunday Catamarans, said elements like the shoe policy and dress code could “take us to the next level” and Whitsundays Marketing and Development Ltd CEO Danial Rochford said Mr Darrouzet’s vision for the marina was “a breath of fresh air”. For anyone who disagreed, Mr Darrouzet had this to say. “If anybody plays up, like what’s been going on over the last six months, all hell’s going to break loose – you better believe it.”
“We’re taking out the garbage,” he said.
LIFTING THE IMAGE: Abell Point Marina owner Paul Darrouzet has invested heavily in his asset since taking over ownership in February this year.
TASK FORCE: Abell Point Marina owner Paul Darrouzet (second from left) is supported in introducing his new code of conduct by Maritime Safety Queensland area manager Tim Henderson, regional harbour master Captain Zainol Ahmad and Whitsunday Police officers Sergeant Simon Walter and Senior Constable Tony Parkinson.