Around 100 people turned up last Thursday April 21 to discuss plans by the state government to develop the Brunswick Marina, resolving to ask the minister for more consultation.
The meeting was organised by the Brunswick Heads Progress Association, responding to concerns that the proposal was too big, particularly the massive carpark and large retail/housing precinct.
Progress Association president John Dunn told Echonetdaily that many people said that the options given in the survey were inadequate, and not in keeping with town’s Simple Pleasures ethos. ‘It’s a complex issue,’ he said, ‘and a lot of people didn’t know enough about it.’
Local activist Dean Jefferys, who operates the marine conservation yacht Migaloo 2, told The Echo he has been trying to secure a low-cost mooring in the Brunswick Harbour for many years.
‘We don’t need any floating pontoons that will surely increase mooring costs for locals,’ he said, ‘There are only a few extra berths needed to moor the local yachts that have not been able to work with or join the Brunswick Heads Cruising Yacht Club. At least 12 additional secure berths could easily and cheaply be created by simply putting in another six poles with gangways, which would leave the centre of the harbour completely untouched and uncluttered.
‘A new yacht club could be established to look after local needs. The floating marina options presented in the survey are mainly to cater for boats from out of the area.
‘Predominantly they would be large non-trailerable motor boats that can traverse the bar, which would add danger for other passive river users.
There should be no tourist apartments too – this benefits no locals and adds to deforestation due to car space requirement. It’s all about profit to investors.’
No media alerted
With such a major development proposal, Echonetdaily asked NSW Department of Primary Industries whether the media were alerted.
A spokesperson replied, ‘The project reports and “Have Your Say” were placed on the Crown Lands website on March 8, 2016, and an email went out to all stakeholders and representatives on March 9, 2016, letting them know this.’ They also said the deadline to reply to the survey “Have Your Say” was extended by two weeks to April 26, at the request of the Brunswick Heads Progress Association.
‘Communication and consultation with stakeholders and community representatives has been ongoing for this project since February 2015, both individually and through a number of workshops.’