The Ostend Reserve catalogues several forward looking issues that should be of concern to all islanders.
Forget the regulated marina project proposed for Matiatia. Ostend is a quality example of an unregulated one and can be the standard bearer. It too is on a ‘gateway’ - staring you in the face on each transit.
It portrays the bric-a-brac of boaties junk distributed along the foreshore and amongst the mangroves. It portrays unfilled dreams of projects long abandoned and left to rot and rust. It has become a nautical parking zone for anyone from anywhere with the ‘free sign’ displayed. So they continue to arrive. If you can’t afford a mooring, don’t want to pay or don’t want ‘it’ on your front lawn, come here and join us. Water-frontage guaranteed, transport adjacent, fuel just up the road. Accommodation? The BYO principal operates very well little friends.
What about services common in a normal marina? Water and toilets - on tap so to speak? Yes, supplied. Midnight drops? On the next day bucket list or... what the hell, it’s 2am. ‘Lost overboard’! Foreshore access and self installed walkways? Absolutely. At 20m max. we can assure dry feet at most times. Parking? Yes, supplied. No fines or over-dues allowed. Rubbish? All gone in a flash.
Sea views? Silly to suggest otherwise. Rates, marina fees or rentals? Another silly suggestion. The rule is the rich can pay and the poor can play. It’s a WINZ, WINZ situation. After all, we live in a forward looking, civilized, democratically fair and socialised society.
Now who owns those boats? Aaha! It’s the old cups game with the coin underneath. Move them around fast enough. That’s the ticket. Umm. Some familiar sounding names in the hat. Ostend, Eh. The jewel in the crown. The benchmark. The foreshore reserve that makes a heart burst with pride.
But a public reserve? Goodness me, don’t even suggest it. Leave your old vessel and vehicle ‘in situ’ it all adds to the ‘iconic’ status of this heritage site. “One boat or two, it’s all up to you.” Regulations or rules? Not on your Nelly! We make those up as we go with special mates rates and privileges.
Isn’t all this a prime example of incompetent and partisan behaviour that often surfaces in local government? What about corporate governance? Where is the boundary between preferential treatment and corruption? Don’t we remunerate to ensure egalitarian principles are applied?
Well sorry mate. You’ll have to be the judge. I don’t know what any of those big words mean. Cheers, Ken Edwards
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