Code of con­duct to lift im­age at Abell Point Ma­rina

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharon Small­wood

“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.

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