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Marina mystery

 

 

THE developer of a proposed marina at Mahers Landing at Pound Creek is yet to reveal how many houses will be included in the project, believed to be worth millions of dollars.

All the community knows so far is that the development includes a marina with an artificial lake surrounded by 72ha of rehabilitated conservation reserve, in addition to housing.

The development will provide 69 direct and indirect jobs during the construction period, 75 ongoing jobs within the marina development and $17 million spent in Inverloch per annum.

However overdevelopment and environmental risks are making residents feel nervous.

At this stage, the developer estimates the residential component will cover 50 percent of the site.

Bass Coast Shire Council said the developer – chair of Melbourne based firm Mering Corporation Jason Yeap OAM – had not applied for a permit, and so council could not comment on the development or the likelihood of permit approval.

Council’s general manager advocacy character and engagement Alison Jones said, “The proposed site is currently in the farming zone. Council has not viewed any formal plans from the proponent and therefore is unable to form a view on the proposal at this point in time. We would welcome discussions with the proponent to discuss any potential development in the future.”

At a community information and feedback session at RACV Inverloch Resort last Thursday night, the community’s concerns about over development and environmental sensitivity were topical.

When asked about the number of residential lots, Mr Yeap and development manager Allan Carlsson said it was too early in the process to answer.

“At this moment, we are consumed with amenities and all those things. There will be a (residential) component. To get a project of this size going, there has to be a commercial side to pay for it,” Mr Yeap said.

“There will be residential lots; I don’t think I have the numbers as such at this moment but eventually those details would have to come through.”

Mr Carlsson said the number of allotments would depend on block size. He said boating facilities would be completed as part of stage one, before the housing developments.

South Gippsland Conservation Society president Dave Sutton harboured fears of over development and the impact on rising sea levels.

“This development is a little bit better than before. There was another project 14 years ago (Tarwin Cove) that was abandoned. This development doesn’t have as many canals,” he said.

“However, there is an issue in building another town outside the existing one. Most of these will be holiday houses, like Inverloch – there’s only 50 percent permanent occupancy in Inverloch – and the extra travel involved will leave a huge carbon footprint.”

Still, Mr Sutton commended the developers on their plans to create a conservation reserve on the site.

The 72ha conservation site will rehabilitate a substantial flora and fauna, and Mr Carlsson said the reserve would act as a buffer zone between the development and Pound Creek.

“We are going to rehabilitate that whole 72 hectares, which is not an insignificant amount of land, and turn it into a bit of a nature walk,” he said.

“We are thinking about having a boardwalk to sit above the area, so people aren’t walking on the plants. We understand there are some migratory birds that come and make their nest there at certain times of the year, so that might appeal to bird watchers and so on.

“If we can achieve that, we will be delivering something very special that we can give to the people of Inverloch.”

Mr Yeap said he was aware of the community’s concerns about overdevelopment and is investigating a way forward.

“We are fully aware that Mahers Landing has been damaged over the years by farming activities and land management practices. Everything we are planning is analysed through the lens of ecologists to ensure we protect, rehabilitate and restore the natural environment, including the freshwater Pound Creek and inlet shoreline connection,” he said.

Some residents welcomed the development, subject to addressing environmental impacts.

“I think it’s great, provided the sea level rise is addressed. I think they are serious about addressing our concerns, based on the cross section of the community invited (to the forum),” Inverloch Lions Club secretary Klaus Edel said.

He said the proposal could have ongoing economic benefits for Inverloch and wider community. He expressed interest in a proposed sculpture park, which would attract tourism.

The next step for the development is to address community concerns and for the proposal to be taken to council.

 

Addressing concerns: from left, former Victorian Premier and advisor Ted Baillieu, Mering Corporation chair Jason Yeap OAM and development manager Allan Carlsson fielded questions about the proposed Mahers Landing development at a feedback session at Inverloch’s RACV Resort on Thursday night.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25045

Posted by on Jun 5 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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