PRESS RELEASE

Combined Frankston Residents Group

Call for Marina Awareness Program:
 Frankston City Council Proposal for Marina at Oliver’s Hill


The ‘Combined Frankston Residents Group’(CFRG) is a body formed by members of several community organizations to address concerns that the Frankston City Council (FCC) is strongly leading a private sector marina development at Oliver's Hill, without having publicly disclosed all the facts and without having a clear mandate to do so from the citizens of Frankston.

 

Members of the CFRG are in favor of the provision of improved boat launching and retrieval facilities at Frankston.

 

The group is convinced however, that a large private marina as proposed, cannot be financially self-supporting.  A public subsidy of over $40 million for infrastructure and a continuing public subsidy for maintenance costs is both financially and environmentally unwise and not in the best interests of the Frankston community. 

 

CFRG are concerned that there is a lack of proper process and FCC are not acting with impartiality and objectivity when acting as the proponent.

 

FCC has decided to call for “Expressions of Interest” which means the scope and nature of the development are unclear.

 

CFRG are concerned that the property developer Mirvac has been mentioned by FCC as expressing interest. The question has to be asked, is the marina just a guise for a real estate development project?  

 

The Independent Panel Report, February 2003, urged the planning authority to temper their enthusiasm with realism.

 

The CFRG calls on the FCC to adopt a balanced approach to the project, and to

place all the facts, relating to the proposed Oliver’s Hill marina, before the public.

 

FCC must commence a ‘Marina Project Awareness Program’, to clearly set

out all the facts before the public, before proceeding further with the project.

 

Proper Process

 

           The CFRG places the following demands on Council:  

 

  • FCC cease acting as the proponent and the developer while also having the responsibility of the planning authority. It must cease using ratepayer’s   resources to advertise and further the marina development.   

 

  • The alleged benefits and liabilities to the community of the proposed marina, must be assessed and publicly stated.   

 

  • Impacts that would accrue from other development projects and services, currently needing ratepayer’s funds, must be simultaneously assessed and   publicly stated.

 

       These development projects and services include:

 

i.       Development, maintenance, dredging and restoration of the Kananook Creek, including proper utilization of boat mooring capacity.    
ii       Provision of a comprehensive sports and aquatic centre, with hydro-therapy facilities. 
iii       Provision of a library and community hall in Langwarrin and improvement of the main Frankston library,    

iv       Improvement to school facilities and services

v       Improved roads and footpaths throughout the municipality for safety and convenience

vi       Provision of multi storey car parks near the Station and TAFE college and at the Frankston Hospital.

vii      Provision and maintenance of bus shelters and public toilets.  

viii     Provision and maintenance of sporting facilities and parks and gardens. 

ix      Regional medical day care and health centers and services.    
x       Provision of better regional services for the aged, infirm and disabled.

xi      Restoration of historical sites including the Mechanics Institute.

xii     Completion of the Frankston ring road.

xiii    Greater support to voluntary groups working in the community.

 

Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability of Officers and Councillors as Agents of the Ratepayers and Residents
 
  • Frankston Council must reveal to the public the inherent financial and environmental risks relating to the development and operation of the proposal.

 

  • The example of the Western Port marina at Hastings, commissioned in 1984, must be placed before the public to provide a practical illustration of the potential financial risks: 

 

            The Western Port Marina has berths for approximately 300 keel boats. This is the same number of berths proposed for the Olivers Hill
             marina.

           

            The Western Port Marina has an 80% occupancy rate and is situated in a sheltered part of Western Port Bay.

 

            The estimated cost of building the Western Port marina today would be some $30 million. The marina’s first two owners went into
             liquidation. The marina was sold to the current owner for approximately $3 million some 7 years ago.

 

  • The economic facts of the Olivers Hill marina development, including the $40 million plus capital costs, all future maintenance costs and the environmental dangers must be made available to the community for appropriate scrutiny.

 

          Any possible requirement for public funding must be determined and stated, so that the community can assess the value of the project.

 

  • The ‘Marina Project Awareness Program’ must disclose the fiscal responsibility and accountability of officers and councilors, acting as the agents of  Frankston residents and ratepayers, in the event of the marina project becoming debt encumbered during the construction and/or the operational stages

 

  • Capital, maintenance and operating costs and projected income from the marina must be forecast by experienced professional cost accountants and this information made publicly available, in accordance with the Panel Report.

 

  • Council immediately make public the financial feasibility study report of August 2004, undertaken by Ernst & Young, into the marina proposal.

 

Environmental Issues


  • Key environmental impact studies have not yet commenced yet FCC is calling to fast track development.

 

  • FCC as the de facto developer must ensure that comprehensive environmental studies including physical modeling, are carried out as required by the Panel Report in accordance with Amendment C15 and C30.

 

          FCC has funded the financial feasibility study yet there has been no funding of the physical modeling to determine environmental impacts on our
          coastline. 

 

    The results of the physical modeling and related studies must be placed before the public in accordance with the ‘Marina Project Awareness
    Program’ and details of the results submitted to the Department of Sustainability for approval.

 

  • The Frankston and Mornington communities be made aware of the probability of interference from the marina structure with the littoral drift, with sand accretion and erosion of Davey’s Bay and the beach sands along the foreshore to the north of the project. The actual effects of the sand movements will only be determined when the physical modeling studies are completed.

 

  • Other potential concerns relating to land slip from Olivers Hill, noise and visual amenity must be included in the ‘Marina Project Awareness Program’.

 

Mandate & Democratic Process

 

  • Council is now calling for Expressions of Interest for development of the 35 hectare site. CFCG ask what specifically has the Frankston community  given approval for?

 

  • The community has been subjected to extensive pro marina advertising by the FCC without disclosure of all issues, such that all balance is missing.  

 

  • It is time that the democratic process is returned to the people of this City and they are given the opportunity to exercise direction in their own name.

 

  • Candidates for forthcoming municipal elections should make their views known to the electorate, as to the position they will take with respect to the

    marina development.

 

  • A referendum should be held on the issue, with the forthcoming November council elections providing an appropriate opportunity, where a mandate can be sought from the community.

 

The CFRG calls upon the FCC to restore Proper Process and Governance in the Frankston Municipality.


Signed on behalf of member groups and individuals:

 
 

R. Thurley.             97839768

J. Wachendorfer    97873528

M. McGrath.         97869264