Queenscliff Harbour Pty Ltd (QHPL) has lodged a formal planning application with the Queenscliffe Council, seeking approval for a giant auditorium and five metre wide outdoor cinema movie screen.
Under the proposal the Cayzer slipway will be filled in, former fishing sheds removed and a reinstated concrete wharf installed.
The crescent shaped auditorium will have seating for up to 120 people and will feature a floating pontoon presentation deck. Extensive landscaping will include 75 formal car parks.
Announcing details of the vision on its website, QHPL said it would transform the heritage site.
“Fisherman’s Wharf Site has been cordoned off for several years as the initial works to refurbish the wharf had to be abandoned as it was not possible to properly repair the structure while the building remained onsite.
“The proposal currently before council will see the entire wharf structure & dinghy basin renewed, with the surrounding areas landscaped to reflect the natural beauty.
“The disused slipway will also be transformed into a modern arena dedicated to the display of Smoot Rays, an attraction that will ultimately prove to be a great addition to the Harbour and the overall Queenscliff experience.”
Public submissions close this Friday, with a number of nearby residents set to oppose the plan.
“The residents of Fisherman’s Flat are not happy, as you can imagine,” one resident told The Rip. “We are writing individual objections, and I would be surprised if there were not at least 25 coming from down here.
“We have found that the general Queenscliffe community is unaware that this planning application has been submitted,” the resident said.
The site sits in a HO1 – Heritage Overlay zone and according to leading heritage architects Lovell Chen “is of historic significance to the precinct as a remnant of an aspect of life specific to the Queenscliff fishing community.”
However interpretive signage “has the potential to mitigate this loss, and enhance and understanding of historic wharf and industrial activities in this part of the precinct,” it acknowledges in a report prepared on behalf of QHPL.
The outdoor cinema is proposed to operate only during January and on public holidays. The stingray display shows will be twice daily between 9:00am and 5:00pm between December and march, and otherwise once daily.
A traffic analysis has predicted the attraction will result in an additional 320 daily vehicle movements in the precinct.
Mayor Helene Cameron is an employee within the harbour and under conflict of interest guidelines will be unable to vote on the planning permit.