The draft Brunswick boat harbour plan has been released and the public have until May 1 to provide feedback to the NSW Department of Industry – Lands and Water.
There appears to be general support for the toilet and shower blocks, along with facilities for the removal of grey and black water from the boats and keeping the wooden walkways.
Yet there are still concerns regarding overdevelopment from some locals, including the Brunswick Progress Association (BPA) and some other boat harbour users. Those concerns include the size of the planned marina and removal of existing moorings, silting, and that the marina will be gated and locked, which is a change from the relaxed ambience of the harbour. A potential increase in mooring fees and the possible attraction of large Gold Coast style motor boats, otherwise referred to as ‘stink boats’ have also been raised.
However, the marina is considered a positive from the perspective of local yacht club member David Kolb, who has highlighted the reduced health and safety risks a marina brings, along with boat safety during changing weather conditions.
A spokesperson for the department has said that legally, the moorings are required to be rented out at market rate and that would remain the case. The question remains however, that if the marina is built and run by a private operator, would this lead to a significant increase in mooring fees?
Encroaching on public lands
The BPA has also highlighted that the ‘entrance to the caravan park keeps changing and encroaching on public lands.’
‘This entrance should be maintained on the eastern side where it is now,’ said Leigh Rees, secretary of the of the BPA.
‘If it is relocated to the proposed position on the draft plan, traffic will be even more congested. The relocation suggested in the draft plan is an inappropriate point of access to the Massey-Greene Caravan Park.’
They have also highlighted the limited public access along the eastern side where according to the draft it narrows to seven metres in some places.
‘Pedestrians and cyclists would be hindered in their movements,’ pointed out Ms Rees.
‘There should be at least a ten metre setback and the road by the foreshore should be moved back. Residents have made it very clear they do not want roads near the foreshores as is proposed in this draft. This is really a track and not a road, and should be well behind the proposed row of pines.’
College of Marine Studies
The College of Marine Studies has been involved in contributing to the development of the draft Brunswick harbour plan however, College founder Phil Walters feels that they have been sidelined.
‘They have ignored all the issues from the scoping study that we put together on the feasibility of the facility at this site in conjunction with other government agencies at a cost of $28,000,’ said Mr Walters.
The DPI has refuted the claim stating that owing to the footprint required for the college – and competing needs of the community – a fully fledged facility is not suitable to the Brunswick boat harbour.
‘There isn’t enough space,’ said the DPI spokesperson.
‘It would impinge on the need for community space and access at the site.’
However, the provision of a multi-use community building that is proposed in the draft plan could potentially be rented by the Marine College as a space to run some of their programs the spokesperson confirmed.
The BPA and Brunswick Yacht Club will be meeting in the next few weeks to discuss their response to the draft plan. If you an opinion on how the harbour should be developed now is your last chance so register your thoughts here.
As one local I accidentally rang when I misdialled a phone number said ’I hope they bring the fish and chip shop back. It is a small town so it would be good to keep it local.’