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Council Approves $6 million High Water Mark Foreshore Project

Redlands City Council has approved a proposal for a car park area and new boat ramp on the Macleay Foreshore Work to the high water mark at a cost of $6 million.

Council deemed an alternate proposal to the low water mark 'too expensive' at this time.

Council officers recommended to a recent council meeting that Council resolve to proceed with the ‘Mean High Water Springs’ (MHWS) as there are no funds from any other source.

There are no State or Federal funds for the high water mark proposal agreed to by council.

The debate between Councillors which followed centred around the cost of even funding the existing proposal to the high water mark, the $6 million cost significant, making it one of council's most expensive current capital works programs.

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards argued that it was a health and safety issue and that the works 'must be carried out'.

Cr Lance Hewlitt argued that council should not have to pay for the entombment of the asbestos on the site nor the provision of the extra parking and, as such, 'no work should be done'. Fortunately for Macleay Island, Cr Edwards secured a majority and work will now progress to the next stage to enable construction.

The boat ramp is scheduled to be constructed over the next 12 months followed by the extension of the car park in the subsequent year.

A report had been presented to Councillors regarding the Community Concept Plan for the Macleay Island foreshore, addressing key issues, legislative requirements and cost estimates as a staged development.

The total construction cost for a staged development of the plan had been estimated at $13 million and subsequent delays would have been significant in order to obtain new designs and seek required approvals from State agencies.

Council officers determined the potential for alternative funding/grants for the delivery of the plan to the low water mark, as not possible.

That would have meant that all costs to reclaim the foreshore and provide additional car parking would have needed to be met by Council, also not possible.

As a result, council acted on the recommendation of officers to complete the project the the 'high water mark'.

Cr Edwards told The Friendly Bay Islander that the progression of the original plan to the high water mark 'does not remove the future possibility to move towards the low water mark.

"However, there is an expectation that State and Federal funding would have to be the significant contributors," he said.

Cr Edwards also advised: "I have asked that Council remove the requirement for earth to be removed from the islands when developments are undertaken as we can use this soil to help offset some of the costs to reclaim the land. This is being given favourable consideration," he said.

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