PEEL Harvey Catchment Council is rallying the troops once again in a bid to stop the Point Grey Marina.
The battle over the proposed marina has now been raging for nearly a decade. It looked set to proceed when the State and Federal governments granted environmental approvals within the protected wetlands area.
But in June, the Shire of Murray voted against earthworks for stage one of the Point Grey development, fearing it could be seen as “substantial commencement, for environmental approval purposes, of the whole project”.
Developer Tian An Australia has now appealed that decision to the State Administrative Tribunal. It will be heard in October.
Tian An Australia describes Point Grey as a 275-hectare jewel in the crown of the Peel region.
The company has plans for a 300-berth marina, retail and tourist facilities, a primary school and extensive open space at Point Grey, plus a housing estate.
Tian An Australia’s website states the company plans to protect and enhance the local environment while boosting lifestyle, tourism and leisure opportunities.
But Peel Harvey Catchment Council chairwoman Caroline Knight said the proposed Point Grey Channel was the single biggest threat to the health of the estuary.
“We believe the risks are too high and cannot be mitigated,” she said.
“PHCC is aware of previous similar projects that have resulted in negative environmental consequences and high financial costs which have fallen on the local community.
“The State has identified the Peel-Harvey as an at-risk estuary, the Commonwealth is investing millions to try to improve its health, while at the same time we have both
levels of government approving the Channel.”
PHCC is encouraging residents to contact their State and Commonwealth politicians and express their concerns over the impacts of the Channel.
One local with fears about the development is award-winning photographer David Rennie, who is on a mission to protect the Ramsar 482 Internationally Protected Wetlands.
He shared his photos of the birdlife that inhabit the wetlands in a bid to raise awareness of what he says is at stake.
If the marina goes ahead, Mr Rennie fears the estuary will become a “cesspit” that could negatively impact on the birdlife.
“The estuary is so fragile, this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” he said.
“It’s now or never to stop this – it’s at a critical point.”
A Facebook page Point Grey & The Ramsar 482 Wildlife & Landscape Photography Page has been set up for people to share their photos of Point Grey and
the surrounding wetland.
The Coastal Times has attempted to contact Tian An on several occasions for comment but has had no response.