Re­al­ity check

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

LAST week Lau­rie Nor­ris wrote to ques­tion why Abell Point Ma­rina re­ceived our In­ter­na­tional Clean Ma­rina Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and in the process made a num­ber of un­in­formed al­le­ga­tions.

1. Lack of wa­ter clar­ity from dredg­ing

Our dredg­ing pro­gram op­er­ates within and un­der the Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion and Bio­di­ver­sity Act 1999, State En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Act 1994, Sus­tain­able Plan­ning Act 2010 and Coun­cil Op­er­ated Works Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion 2013.

Tur­bid­ity tests are un­der­taken daily and to date all test re­sults in­di­cate tur­bid­ity lev­els less than 50% of al­low­able lev­els (less than 22.5 MTU ) and zero plum­ing oc­cur­ring greater than one me­tre from the ex­ca­va­tor bucket. In ad­di­tion PH (greater than 6.8) and oxy­gen lev­els are all within guide­lines. 2. Smell from mud The dredge mud is in­ert, al­ka­line, non toxic and odour­less. The smell about which Nor­ris opines is in fact em­a­nat­ing from a Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil trunk sewer line on Shin­g­ley Drive. This odour has been the sub­ject of nu­mer­ous com­plaints to coun­cil from a num­ber of res­i­dents and our­selves over the last three years.

As re­cently as two weeks ago coun­cil of­fi­cers were again on site to seek a so­lu­tion , which we all await with in­ter­est .

3. De­te­ri­o­rat­ing Pon­toons A/G arms

We are well aware of the con­di­tion of some of the North Ma­rina walk­ways, which were built dur­ing the 1980s.

A five-year re­place­ment pro­gram is cur­rently un­der­way, sched­uled to cause min­i­mum dis­rup­tion to our com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors and the gen­eral pub­lic. All works are un­der­taken in ac­cor­dance with our En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Plan and to date zero de­bris has ever left the ma­rina.

As of the end of May we will cease dredg­ing un­til Novem­ber as the ma­rina is full and we are un­able to re­lo­cate ves­sels to al­low ac­cess.

It is for­tu­nate that 507 boat own­ers, 450 staff, 66 com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors and over 250,000 vis­i­tors who in­ject mil­lions of dol­lars into our lo­cal re­gion do not agree with Nor­ris’s view of my fa­cil­ity.

Per­haps Nor­ris in his next mis­sive could out­line for all of us his con­tri­bu­tion to the eco­nomic, cul­tural and so­cial well­be­ing of the res­i­dents of Air­lie Beach (or in fact Proser­pine).

Lastly, it’s a shame Nor­ris has not ever spo­ken to my staff, nor me about his deep con­cerns. Paul Dar­rouzet Abell Point Ma­rina

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