Residents draw a line in the water – marina is big enough

”Why can’t we have a safe bay in the harbour?” Resident Maureen Clark says most families are concerned for their children because of the size of the power boats. Supporter … Malcolm Turnbull.
Nanjing Night Net

THE federal Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull has backed a Greens proposal calling on the NSW government to withdraw the consent it granted to a developer seeking to add 46 berths to the Rose Bay marina.

Mr Turnbull, the MP for Wentworth, supported a call by the NSW Greens Upper House MP David Shoebridge for the Ports Minister, Duncan Gay, to withdraw the ”land owner’s consent” the government granted the Rose Bay Marina company without which it could not have lodged its development application.

In the increasingly bitter debate over the marina, Mr Gay has branded the Greens call as ”hypocritical”, saying it will mean a return to the minister deciding development applications.

Mr Turnbull has been leading a fight by local residents opposing the development which is similar to one rejected by the Land and Environment Court three years ago.

”This matter should have been settled then and the community thought it was settled,” he said. He agreed with residents like Maureen Clark, the vice-president of the Rose Bay Residents Association, who said expanding the marina would block the views from the promenade lining the bay and make it dangerous for people who paddle and sail small craft there.

”We are going to lose so many wonderful views,” Ms Clark, who has lived in the suburb for 50 years, said.

”Rose Bay was considered the safest bay in the harbour. When I first came here we had a boat – it’s safe for sailing, canoeing and kayaking and most families are now concerned for their children because of the size of the power boats. All the local schools have boating programs. Why can’t we have a safe bay in the harbour?”

The battle to expand marinas in Rose Bay has been going for six years and Woollahra Council has been to the Land and Environment Court three times to try to contain it.

Next week council staff will meet the Joint Regional Planning Panel which will determine the application to discuss the request for a new eastern arm at the marina for boats up to 15 metres long.

In a letter to Mr Gay this week Mr Shoebridge, who is a member of Woollahra Council, said the Department of Roads and Maritime Services, as the land owner of the harbour, should never have given the original approval needed to lodge the development application.

”Why on earth your department, on your watch, has given land owner’s consent to allow this totally inappropriate development to be constructed on the harbour has never been explained,” he said.

He called on Mr Gay to simply ”revoke the land owner’s consent” to save the local community from the expense and distress of fighting the project.

Mr Turnbull agreed saying: ”That would be a very quick way to fix it, I would welcome that.”

The Liberal MP Gabrielle Upton, who holds the local seat of Vaucluse, said she also is opposed to the development but denied withdrawing land owner’s consent would stop it.

Mr Gay accused Mr Shoebridge of hypocrisy claiming his request was contrary to his view that ministers should not determine local planning matters.

And he said legal advice warned it was too late to withdraw consent as the development application had been lodged in April.

“… based on case law, attempting to withdraw landowner’s consent after the DA has been lodged would not prevent the development application from being determined,” Mr Gay’s spokeswoman said.

A spokesman from Rose Bay Marina, Ned O’Neill, did not return the Herald’s phone call.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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