RESTORATION: Peter Wade and Phil Waters with Mr Wade's 30ft fantail River Launch the June Rose that Mr Wade has been restoring over previous two years. Built in the late 1920s in Sydney, its reputed to be a paymaster's boat during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
RESTORATION: Peter Wade and Phil Waters with Mr Wade's 30ft fantail River Launch the June Rose that Mr Wade has been restoring over previous two years. Built in the late 1920s in Sydney, its reputed to be a paymaster's boat during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Chrsitan Morrow

Brunswick plan hits stormy Waters

THE Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour is an iconic location and the State Government is asking the public to have their say on Crown Land's Draft Plan for the site.

One group with plenty to say are the members of the College of Marine Studies, co-founded by shipwright and marine surveyor Phil Waters, who believes the harbour would be the ideal site for a marine college to not only preserve the craft of wooden boat building, but also as a place to offer certified training for a host of marine related professions.

Mr Waters said the group has been working on their plan since 2005, originally at the behest of Crown Lands, along the way gaining not-for-profit status and becoming a Registered Training Organisation.

"We have a detailed and very workable plan, developed over a number of years in consultation with governments, councils and industry,” Mr Waters said.

"Put simply Brunswick Heads could become a centre for excellence for the construction of wooden boats, an industry that is growing around the globe and crying out for properly qualified people.

"It would also be a real tourist attraction focusing on Brunswick Heads boat building heritage.”

Mr Waters said he could not understand why Marine College plan had been "pushed aside by Crown Lands”.

"Now this draft plan has popped up for a luxury yacht marina for 76 boats with no marine industry or slipway to back it up.”

The Marine College has also been offered the 80ft Krawarree - a World War Two hospital launch constructed entirely of Huon Pine for use as a teaching and research vessel.

Other locals remain sceptical of the draft plan, with Patricia Warren writing on the Brunswick Heads Progress Association Facebook page that she personally believed the "New Boat Harbour Plans are lacking and dismal”.

Ms Warren said the draft plan as it stands was unclear and appeared to be a way for Crown Lands to take over foreshore land that should remain in public hands.


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