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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Boat harbour or marina?

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David Miller, Brunswick Heads.

The Department of Industry has just released its master plan for Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour.

Nestled into the project, the second point is apparently sensible and innocuous, that is-

‘to identify a boat retrieval system for large moored vessels’.

What is the purpose of this? It is not as though we have a hardstand for maintenance and repair of large vessels. There used to be a trawler slipway, now re-landscaped, which I used for my yacht in years gone past. It was a toxic site from bottom scrubbing but part of the scene.

Now though, there are some serious issues around ‘a boat retrieval system for large vessels’.

The Brunswick River ocean bar is notoriously dangerous. On more than one occasion I have had my heart in my mouth as a rogue wave rose and threatened to smash my yacht on the rocky unforgiving seawalls. But this unpredictable ocean bar has protected Brunswick harbour, keeping it a sleepy backwater.

The proposed large boat retrieval system will remove the barrier of the bar as it will be simple for rich boat owners to bring their gin palaces by road into the all new docksites being planned. And leave them there, safe from any storm.

The question is, ‘do the people of the Byron shire want their harbour to become an exclusive storage space for really large white plastic motor boats, just like you might see on the gold coast?’


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