Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

AF­TER many years and sev­eral ver­sions, the Queens­land Govern­ment has ap­proved the pro­posal for a ma­rina devel­op­ment at Shute Har­bour, sub­ject to en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

Pro­po­nents of the Shute Har­bour Ma­rina Re­sort wel­comed Tues­day’s rec­om­men­da­tion by the Queens­land Co­or­di­na­tor-Gen­eral and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney that the $252 mil­lion project should go ahead, as long as con­di­tions were met.

These in­clude con­duct­ing a 12-month base­line wa­ter qual­ity study prior to con­struc­tion and agree­ing to use dredge ma­te­rial for con­struc­tion, or dis­pos­ing of it on land.

Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity group Save Our Fore­shore, who led a long-run­ning Shute Har­bour cam­paign, have ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at this re­sult.

SOF pres­i­dent Suzette Pelt said Mr Seeney had not re­sponded to leg­is­la­tion re­quir­ing “proof of need” for such a devel­op­ment.

“Let’s get our ex­ist­ing mari­nas, shops and restau­rants full and prof­itable be­fore even con­sid­er­ing the need to put mas­sive com­mer­cial devel­op­ment in Shute. Tourists can go any­where in the world and see con­crete, high-rises and mari­nas, but there is only one nat­u­rally beau­ti­ful Shute Har­bour,” she said.

Ms Pelt also said Mr Seeney had ig­nored the gen­uine con­cerns of hun­dreds of lo­cal peo­ple who made writ­ten ob­jec­tions to the devel­op­ment, as well as some 2500 pe­ti­tion sig­na­tures col­lected dur­ing the pro­posal’s most re­cent re­vival.

How­ever, project developer Mark Daniels, who heads up the devel­op­ment con­sor­tium along­side lo­cals Colin Cross­ley (Cross­ley Group) and Mark McLach­lan (East Coast Civil), says the ma­rina will de­liver “a host of benefits to tourists and the lo­cal com­mu­nity through sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture and jobs”.

“By de­vel­op­ing an in­terna- tional stan­dard ma­rina precinct that in­cor­po­rates a range of high qual­ity fa­cil­i­ties and com­mu­nity ser­vices, Shute Har­bour Ma­rina Re­sort will help at­tract more visi­tors and pro­vide a sus­tained tourism in­jec­tion to the re­gion,” he said.

Mr Daniels said hun­dreds of new jobs and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties would be cre­ated through­out the con­struc­tion phase and within the re­sort’s restau­rants, re­tail out­lets and other ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties.

“We now look for­ward to meet­ing the con­di­tions re- quested by the Co­or­di­na­torGen­eral and pro­gress­ing the project in 2014,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.shute­har­bour­ma­

NEW VI­SION: An artist's ren­der­ing of the pro­posed Shute Har­bour Ma­rina Re­sort.

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