THE State Administrative Tribunal has upheld the Shire of Murray’s refusal of Stage 1 of the Point Grey Marina proposal.
Peel Harvey Catchment Council chairwoman Caroline Knight said the group were thrilled with the decision.
“The decision is the right one and it has restored a lot of people’s faith that we can have a voice in the protection of our Estuary, and sometimes sense prevails and we get a win,” she said.
Developer Tian An Australia had plans for a 300-berth marina, retail and tourist facilities, a primary school and extensive open space at Point Grey, plus a housing estate.
Chief operating officer Hai-Young Lu said they were “delighted” that the tribunal accepted the validity of the State and Federal environmental approvals in place for the project, “which in turn recognises our robust, stringent and meticulous approach”.
“This project has sustainability and the future needs of the community at its heart,” he said.
“Point Grey is a vitally important project for the region’s future, and we remain fully committed to delivering it.”
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”.
Tian An Australia appealed the decision to SAT, which prompted a petition, residents and politicians rallying against the proposed marina.
Yesterday the Shire’s decision was upheld because the proponents did not have the necessary change of use approvals in place over the site of the proposed marina.
Ms Knight congratulated the Shire of Murray for their courage and standing their ground.
“As a community we rely on planning authorities to ensure that our valued environment is protected and that development is respectful to this,” she said.
“The Tribunal’s determination that the proposed development was not consistent with ‘orderly and proper planning’, speaks volumes.”
“The SAT’s ruling vindicates the Shire’s decision and the work of many, many community members and organisations that rallied behind them to try to bring some sense to this very long process.”
Canning MHR Andrew Hastie, who argued against the marina in Federal Parliament, thanked everyone who had signed petitions and had made their voice heard against the marina.
“It means the Shire was right to insist that the local community have a say about what happens in our backyard,” he said.
It’s back to the drawing board for Tian An Australia, who may appeal the decision to a higher court or or resubmit an application for the marina and channel.