Developer to fight charges
A DIRECTOR of the proposed new Mary River Marina development will fight a charge of illegally clearing mangroves from the riverbank.
Ron Blyth, director of Belela Pty Ltd, is due to appear in the Maryborough Magistrates Court next week charged with unlawful damage of a marine plant.
The charge was brought against him by the Department of Fisheries after Mr Blyth removed mangroves alongside the development site at 193 Kent Street in late 2009.
Mr Blyth's lawyer Warren Wells said his client would plead not guilty to the charge because he believed he had authority to clear the mangroves.
Mr Wells said any issues relating to the development or the removal of mangroves to make way for the development should have been made clear when the development was approved.
The marina would have space for 140 boats and was expected to create about 20 jobs.
“For the marina to be built to the approved plan, mangroves had to be removed and a revetment wall built,” Mr Blyth said.
“The whole project was designed to be part of the Brolga to Bridge tourist precinct.
“Mangroves grow up and down the Mary River so in order to build anything on the river, like the marina, they will need to be removed. Anyone approving the marina ought to have known that, especially since the development application plan sits right on top of the mangroves.
“It does not seem right that they can approve something to be built in a mangrove area and then, once we've started, change their tune and say that we can't build after all because we need to remove the mangroves to do so.”
If found guilty, Mr Blyth could be fined up to $300,000. The case has been set for hearing in the court on Friday, December 3.