Queenscliff Harbour management has confirmed it will no longer pursue the proposal to build an outdoor stadium and cinema in the heritage precinct, after a prolonged campaign of opposition from residents.
“[We have] listened to the community’s feedback and modified the scope of works proposed for the Fisherman’s Wharf Rejuvenation Project,” said QHPL Manager Sean Blackwood.
“The proposal for a stingray research and education facility will not proceed. Community consultation determined that such a facility would not be the right fit for the community and they have rejected it.”
“The wharf wall and adjoining Cayzer’s Slipway will be repaired in 2017. These facilities are currently in a derelict and unsafe condition, and they are in urgent need of refurbishment.”
The slipway will be “sensitively refurbished” to retain it historic character and provide a launch for small craft, he said.
Fisherman’s Flat’s Carmen Bell described the news as an early Christmas present for residents and “a much more suitable vision for the area.
“It would be a good result for the community and for Queenscliff Harbour.
"Until details of the new plans are published, our protest signs are staying up,” she said.
QHPL says the revised plan will:
■ Respect the heritage values of the area
■ Protect the environment
■ Have an educational element to the tourism features element
■ Ensure public access to the wharf
■ Celebrate existing features from the local environs
■ Enhance the amenity of local residential areas
The harbour is understood to be drawing from the recommendations of its own marine expert Dr John Ford in preparing the new vision. As revealed in The Rip in April he has proposed a more educational attraction, floating the idea of a glassed underwater viewing area.
“Queenscliff Harbour is considering a number of other ideas to attract more visitors to the harbour area,” Mr Blackwood said. “For example, we are currently exploring options for creating a series of high quality interpretive installations in the wharf and harbour areas which celebrate the area’s maritime history and natural ecology.”
The final scope of works remains subject to state and local government planning approval.
“We expect to have detailed draft concept plans to present to the community for discussion in early 2017. We hope to have the official approvals for the project in place to enable refurbishment works to start from July 2017 onwards,” Mr Blackwood said.