The West

A plan for a $1 billion new marina at Point Grey, near Mandurah, is one step closer after Environment Minister Bill Marmion gave conditional approval to the plan yesterday.

Mr Marmion has imposed strict conditions on developer Port Bouvard's plan for a 300-berth marina and 2.5km channel, in a bid to assuage community concerns over the effect of the marina on health of the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

Port Bouvard executive director Stephen Court said the approval was an important milestone for the development, which includes plans for a promenade, restaurants, cafes, shops and accommodation. But Mr Marmion's decision to approve the marina has been met with dismay by locals who have expressed fears for the future of the vulnerable waterway and the effect on fish and migratory birds.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council chairman Jan Star said she was surprised and disappointed by the decision.

"My greatest fear is that this will bring the Estuary to a point from which it cannot recover, particularly because of the dredging, and that the community will have to bear the burden," she said.

Greens leader Giz Watson said she was concerned the State Government had ignored recent scientific studies on the impact of dredging.

The State Government has imposed environmental conditions including monthly water quality monitoring programs and a limit on the times when the channel can be dredged. The results of the water monitoring will be made public.

Port Bouvard said it supported the conditions placed on it, which would protect the health of the waterway, and was now waiting on a final decision from the Federal Government

The West Australian

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