The current battle:


10 December 2013

With the latest announcement in the almost 30 year saga of a proposed marina development in Shute Harbour, Minister Seeney has failed to respond to legislation that requires the proof of need for the marina development on public foreshore and World Heritage seabed in Shute Harbour, amongst many other criteria which have not been met, need is a core criterion for approval.

In announcing the virtual approval of this development, Mr Seeney has also ignored the genuine concerns of hundreds of local people who made written objections to the commercial development which includes, along with many hectares of reclaimed and storm surge vulnerable land for housing, several 4 and 5 story residential and commercial buildings lining the shoreline.

We have two marinas under development in Airlie Beach, which is a major hub of tourism and boating activity. One marina development is still in receivership. There are some 5000 house lots approved for development on the Whitsunday coast along with several year's supply of apartments, so it is very hard to see why the region should risk so much when there is no need.

Marina developments, particularly those that require massive dredging and construction for cyclonic conditions, have a track record of financial failure. All the evidence is there, from North Queensland to the Gold Coast, the record speaks for itself. They open a Pandora's box of problems. This Government has learned nothing from the Port Hinchinbrook disaster.

Let's get our existing marinas, shops and restaurants full and profitable before even considering the need to put massive commercial development in Shute Harbour. Tourists can go anywhere in the world and see concrete, high-rises and marinas, but there is only one naturally beautiful Shute Harbour.

Some people may think this is a fabulous development for the Whitsundays, but once they get the full picture, the reality is far from that. For example, for fishermen, it means the loss of a protected fish breeding habitat, seagrass and mangroves; for inner islands and resorts it will bring deterioration in water quality, and for the area's tourists, the loss of stunning scenery as you round the corners and see the vistas of islands and rain forested hills coming into view.

SOF collected some 2500 petition signatures opposing the latest revival of the proposal.

Save Our Foreshore is an association registered under the Incorporated Association Act. It is a community organisation created by citizens of the community of Whitsunday having a particular interest in ensuring that public access to the coast and amenity of coastal public lands are preserved and enhanced for the long term benefit of their ecological, scenic and recreational values as enjoyed by the Whitsunday community and visitors to the area.

April 2013: URGENT! Save World Heritage Shute Harbour

The Save Our Foreshore organisation is totally opposed to what it sees as nothing more than yet another public waterfront land grab for high end residences - using a marina as its justification.

If this development on our public foreshore is approved, many thousands of locals and visitors will lose an irreplaceable environmental and scenic treasure, primarily so that a private developer can on-sell reclaimed blocks of World Heritage seabed land to third-party developers.

Have your say: submissions to the Supplementary EIS for the Shute Harbour Marina development close on the 29-04-2013.

Go to the Shute Harbour page to find more information and complete a Supplementary EIS submission.

Battle 2011

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History - 2004

When Save Our Foreshore was founded in 2004, beautiful Airlie Beach was the latest coastal town to join the nation-wide and now world-wide fight against government give-aways of public land for private development

The town is the heart of Whitsunday's tropical coast and its public foreshore land was being literally given away to development firm FKP to build a 4-storey, 125 room budget Outrigger hotel with, pub and gambling right next to public parkland.

FKP wouldn't have had to buy the land - the State government was giving it to them.

Locals simply wanted to preserve the public foreshore land for public use. They had lobbied and worked for years to fund and build the foreshore lagoon, and felt they could lose both that and the parkland along the foreshore whether through the Outrigger project or future deals cut by council once the precedent was set.

The tender process was complex and people were suspicious. But, the development did not comply with the Town Plan and therefore should have been rejected.

Councillors were told they would be responsible for one of two futures for Airlie Beach:

1. Seaside slum like every other seaside slum, or
2. Beautiful and unique destination to match our magnificent Whitsundays.

The community gained promises from State and local governments that the land would not be used for private purposes, but clearly we must be ever vigilant. A new, identical, threat is here.

Please contact us at if you need any more information We want to stop the give away of Queensland coastal public land and the homogenization of our towns.

We still have not found out why everything in relation to this development was "commercial in confidence" and what there was to hide. Save Our Foreshore Inc is the community group formed by locals to stop this kind of development and to get to the bottom of what happens here so we can prevent the loss of other public lands in the Whitsundays.