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Shute Harbour becomes possible election issue

By Mark Beale

THE proposal for a marina development in Shute Harbour has angered local resident Dan Van Blarcom enough to consider standing for a prospective political party at the State Government election next year.

Mr Van Blarcom says he is currently discussing his position with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who he describes as “a party of freedom and human rights, personal responsibility, [a] low tax, smaller, less costly government, local control and property rights”.

Mr Van Blarcom believes the proposed Shute Harbour marina project must be stopped, or re-assessed and placed under local control and that in respect to this issue, current political players are letting the Whitsunday community down.

“Beautiful Shute Harbour and adjacent Conway National Park will be seriously degraded if this ugly proposal is allowed to continue,” he said. In Mr Van Blarcom’s opinion, dredging for the marina would cause “environmental mess”.

“[And] this is public land and seabed,” he said.

“Simply put, if I wanted to build a house, I would buy a block of land. So why do developers get hold of public land?”

Mr Van Blarcom is critical of how the major political parties have handled the Shute Harbour debate to date, saying the Labor Party kept it alive for the time they were in power and the current State Government has picked the project up, putting pressure on Council and removing it from their control.

“[Meanwhile] the Greens are missing in action trying to stop mining and jobs,” he said.

Liberal Democrats president Gabriel Buckley said he had not been briefed on any proposals for Shute Harbour, but he did confirm knowledge of Mr Van Blarcom’s interest in the seat.

“And should the Liberal Democrats achieve state registration in time for the next Queensland election, I would have no problem endorsing Dan as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the seat of Whitsunday,” he said.

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