War of words over marina plan

Published 2:00pm 18 August 2023

War of words over marina plan
Words by Nick Crockford

The battle over plans which include building a hotel at Newport Marina, has been taken to the council chamber.

Kenlie Williams, President of Newport Action Group (NAG) and Josh Kindred, CEO of Kindred Group and owner of Newport Marina, have spoken at successive full meetings of Moreton Bay City Council (MBCC).

Both used Community Comment – maximum five minutes and no discussion – to address the issues, councillors, council staff and the public gallery.

The latest plan includes changing code assessments applying to the land and adding new "assessable uses" for the precinct.

Proposals under the proposed Newport marina industry precinct code would include “marine industry, short-term accommodation, bar, function facility, hotel, sport and recreation and office”.

More than 200 submissions were received by Council - and publically available on MBCC's DA Tracker system - as part of the assessment process now being conducted by officers.

Original plans, which included two 10-storey towers, have been replaced with one building no more than 15m high, around six storeys.

"Does not belong"

However, Ms Williams, who spoke to council on August 2, said the proposal still “has no place in Newport. It simply does not belong.

“Four years ago council rejected a development application to change the use of Newport Marina, from marine industry designated land to multi-level residential accommodation.

“The application was rejected because it did not meet the requirements of council’s strategic plan or its strategic framework.

“Council’s strategic framework and its planning scheme has not changed. Newport community’s expectations and its commitment has not changed.”

Ms Williams said, if approved, the plan would lower the levels of assessment for future development, making accommodation, various retail and commercial uses, code assessable rather than impact assessable.

War of words over marina plan

“The community’s ability to have a say in future assessment would be nullified,” she said.

“Whatever is developed at the marina will have an impact on the whole community.

“Our expectation is whatever is built at the marina will fit within the requirements of the marina industry precinct. We are prepared for those impacts.”

Josh Kindred, CEO of Kindred Group, responded at this week’s meeting saying he “acknowledged the importance of all opinion” but was it is “important we retain facts for clarity’s sake.

“NAG has stated this approval will remove marina and marine industry. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.

“This application asks for marine industry and complimentary uses to be approved on the land. We are not touching the water. This application is to approve uses on the land.

"Our aspirations"

"I can say with 100 per cent certainty, my only intention is to see marine vessels still berthed at that Newport Marina in 50-years’ time.

“In the last three years we have invested $1,056,248 in maintenance since purchasing the marina, which has resulted in occupancy rates averaging 96 per cent in the last three years.

“When we purchased the marina the five-year average was 86 per cent.

“Our aspirations are for entirely new marina berthing infrastructure to be delivered by 2028. Fuel services are on our road map for consideration to support marine tourism.”

Mr Kindred also referenced council’s aim for eight international hotels providing more than 1000 rooms in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics.

“Accor brands like Sofitel and Peppers have expressed their desire to work with us on this site for much needed short-term accommodation.”

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