THE Shire of Murray knocked back an application to approve the first stage of earthworks for the controversial Point Grey Marina.
But Shire president David Bolt said applicant Tian An Australia Ltd would be welcome to submit a new application once further documentation had been provided on what he described as a “high risk project.”
Point Grey is sited on a peninsula jutting into Peel Inlet opposite the Dawesville Channel and has been a cause of concern since development was first mooted in the late 1980s.
A significant portion was rezoned from rural to urban in 2011 and a strip retained for a 300-berth marina with a 2.5km channel linking Point Grey with the Dawesville Channel which caused uproar among environmentalists and the commercial fishing fraternity.
Cr Bolt wondered who would ultimately be responsible should anything go wrong.
“The community is concerned and the council needs it demonstrated that all outstanding conditions have been met including a financial model for dredging and maintenance,’’ he said.
“We will be living with the outcome of this decision for a long time.’’
According to a council report that recommended approval of the application, a number of submissions related to claims of environmental impact to a significant waterway that would result from the marina and associated channels.
The report said there were significant issues requiring careful consideration as part of the next and future phases.
Tian An Australia Ltd State manager WA Andrew Hall said the application was just one component of the total package.
“We are looking for certainty with planning issues and need to know that this component has been locked away,’’ he said.
Mr Hall said the marina was an essential catalyst to the development and all impacts had been fully assessed over 10 years.
“This is just the first step towards the greater picture we will share with the council in coming months,’’ he said.
He said his company had delivered such projects as Sanctuary Cove and Hayman Island Resort.
In a joint submission, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council board member Paddi Creevey and chief executive Jane O’Malley asked the council to refuse approval until it (the council) was in receipt of essential information from peak agencies and could make a decision in the best interests of ratepayers.
They said that with time extensions in place at State and Federal levels, the company had time to resubmit its application after demonstrating its ability to meet overall requirements, satisfy the council that impacts could be managed and that ongoing maintenance would not result in a financial burden on future ratepayers.
Mandurah Licensed Fishermen’s Association president Megan Watts asked the council who would bear the costs of lost business should the marina cause major changes to water quality in Peel Inlet.
Mrs Watts, who represents 11 commercial fishermen and is a member of a fifth generation fishing family, said after the meeting it was an ecological disaster waiting to happen.
“Its around 30 years since Boggy Bay was dredged and its still barren,’’ she said.
“I’ve no worry about what they do no the land, just don’t touch the water.’’