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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Brunswick Heads marina plans too big, say residents

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Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour. A proposal for a new marina would be out of line with the town's Simple Pleasures motto, say residents. Photo brunswickheads.org.au
Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour. A proposal for a new marina would be out of line with the town’s Simple Pleasures motto, say residents. Photo brunswickheads.org.au

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.’



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  1. There are significant underpinning issues in relation to the exhibited Masterplan.
    1. Appendix 4, cross referenced to Report on Land Based Uses promotes the rezoning of the Fisherman’s Co-operative, a parcel of 3,200sq metres of land locked land to allow for high end development of say apartments, retail/food and beverage outlet. So that none of that land is given over to car parking, public land has been allocated. All up a maximum of 162 car parking spaces are identified, 42 of which is on Council owned land and the balance on Crown Land. A conservative estimate for s94 car parking contributions in Brunswick Heads is $60K/space or $9.72m for 162 car parking spaces. The idea is that public land is to be used to ‘cross subsidise’ the marina which is a not economically viable.

    2. For well over 18 years, the community has been fighting illegal encroachments by Massy Greene park management onto land to the western side of the caravan park. It was designated as Lot 7005 Crown Land for Maritime Purposes. Byron Shire Council has supported the community in setting the boundaries within which Massy Greene caravan park can operate. Council has the legislative power under s68 of the Local Government Act to do this. NSW Crown Holiday Park Trust, is refusing to date to abide by Council’s decision as contained in Resolution 15-651 of 10 December 2015 which in turn refers to the decision made in Resolution 12-627 of 9 August 2012 which specifically targeted the preparation of the pending Plans of Management for the caravan park. The contentious LOT 7005 needs to be part of the Masterplan for the Boat Harbour Precinct. It has a ramp, which when reinstated and upgraded, would be ideal for the launching of non-powered craft. The reinstatement of the loop road across Lot 7005 would be ideal to make this a functioning public ramp. It would have the added advantage of been designated for commercial operators to launch kayaks etc. as part of their license.


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