River Heads residents (from left) Lauri Hill, Cheryle Hodder, Margaret Reynolds and Margaret Berrell talk about safety concerns with councillors Les MucKan and David Dalgleish.
River Heads residents (from left) Lauri Hill, Cheryle Hodder, Margaret Reynolds and Margaret Berrell talk about safety concerns with councillors Les MucKan and David Dalgleish. Alistair Brightman

Fury over Kingfisher barge

THE RELOCATION of the Kingfisher Resort barge terminal is one step closer to River Heads after last week’s meeting of the council’s planning and development committee but not without the issue of footpaths coming into the equation.

Councillor Les MucKan told the meeting that River Heads residents were up in arms about safety issues in the area.

Mr MucKan and David Dalgleish attended a public meeting hosted by the River Heads Progress Association last week ahead of the council decision on a development application from Ray and Helen Sinclair.

Kingfisher’s Urangan terminal at the Hervey Bay marina is expected to close in February to be replaced by a River Heads office. The application to set up a new passenger terminal on Ariadne Street ultimately got the green light, including a commitment to shuttle passengers from the terminal to the barge landing area.

“There are people who are going to choose to walk. As it is anyone who walks has to duck in between cars,” Mr Dalgleish said. “It’s a very dangerous situation.”

When executive manager for development assessment Michael Ellery suggested holding the developers to their shuttle commitment, Mr Dalgleish replied: “You can’t police it.”

Mr Dalgleish’s call for the addition of conditions requiring the developer to build a footpath from the terminal to the barge landing area met with rejection.

“My advice is that it’s not reasonable and not relevant,” Mr Ellery said.

Councillor Gerard O’Connell said: “It’s an application from a very serious business which is part of a very serious industry. I think we should encourage them. It is probably not desirable to impose an additional condition.”

Councillor Linda Harris believed the footpath issue was a concern “that goes beyond this particular application.”

Following a proposal by Mr MucKan the council agreed to compile a report on the possible building of a footpath.

Mr Dalgleish used general business to raise a related issue, the development of a pontoon or boardwalk at the barge site.

He said the idea had been around more than 10 years ago.

“They (residents) have been patient until now. But they realise there will be an increase in the commercial use of the barge landing which will make it less and less available to them.”



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