Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook with director of regional development for the Wide Bay Burnett Scott Rowe at the Boat Club in Hervey Bay overlooking the Urangan Marina.
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook with director of regional development for the Wide Bay Burnett Scott Rowe at the Boat Club in Hervey Bay overlooking the Urangan Marina.

MARINA DELAYS: We could be missing out on millions

THE fight to redevelop the Hervey Bay marina has been reinvigorated after more than a decade of dead ends.

A call to cut through the red tape and fix Hervey Bay's "jewel in the crown" was flagged at a business breakfast where it provided a backdrop yesterday.

Regional Development Australia director Scott Rowe said the area wasn't living up to its full economic potential.

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"There are private investors lining up who want to get involved in investing here," he told Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce's State of the Region event.

"This should be a tourism and entertainment hub but there is that much red tape tied up in it. There are 10 different leasing divisions which makes it very, very difficult. We need to ensure investment comes here, the harbour is expanded, and we can truly meet our economic potential."

Chamber president Sandra Holebrook, who has long advocated the redevelopment, echoed Mr Rowe's sentiment that the region was missing out on millions.

She said momentum had stalled since 2014 when a Urangan Harbour Precinct vision document and proposed master plan were prepared.

The document, still available on the Fraser Coast Regional Council's website, listed plans for green spaces, residential living, a conference or convention centre, tender cruise terminal, harbour resort, extra moorings, space for super yachts and a new restaurant and retail precinct.

Ms Holebrook said the drive to reinvigorate the marina had fallen by the wayside as the land was mostly owned by the State Government and was subject to different leases overseen by different government departments.

"It is hard to bring all those elements of government together," she said.

"There is still not a real reason to come into the marina from a spending perspective beside the Boat Club and that's great but we want to give it a facelift.

"But every time it comes back to the leases and the inability to get them sorted out enough to provide proper tenancy for people.

"We got reasonably close to sorting some of these things out three or four years ago when the ability to build up to twenty storeys was passed but with the change of government we missed that window.''

Ms Holebrook said just like the chamber's drive to push forward the Nikenbah sports precinct, the Urangan Harbour Precinct needed the same passion for what she estimated would be a 10-year plan.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said he would love to see new business and the marina expanded.

He said it wasn't a case of whether the council had done anything about it but a case of "what haven't we done" to get things moving.

"Ultimately it is owned by the State Government. Every now and then it is brought up and then we have meetings with the government.

"From their perspective it is functioning as a boat harbour should but we here would love to see it as a vibrant place."



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