Oceanic Victor project under the spotlight

Not to be rushed: Simon Coote and Nisa Schebella checking out the Oceanic Victor project at the meeting on Monday, November 16. More than 60 people attended.

Not to be rushed: Simon Coote and Nisa Schebella checking out the Oceanic Victor project at the meeting on Monday, November 16. More than 60 people attended.

Caution was the key word at a meeting in Victor Harbor on the Oceanic Victor in-sea aquarium proposal for Granite Island.

More than 60 people attended and most were concerned about the proposal that will include swimming with tuna in an in-sea aquarium in the waters off Granite Island. One comment which summed up the mood of the gathering was the “in-sea aquarium would be one giant burly bucket.”

Attendees were involved in aquatic organisations such as diving, school swimming, sailing, paddling and surfing and there were a number of concerns raised about the project.

They included environmental concerns, the attraction of sharks around the nets, the proposal is hasty and being rushed through, restrictions of sailing events with the location of the in-sea aquarium, a poor business model due to poor water visibility and the expense to visit the in-sea aquarium.

The in-sea aquarium is currently located at Port Lincoln and if the project is approved it will be towed to Granite Island. The directors of Oceanic Victor are Mike Dyer and Tony Santic. 

Beach guardian and one of the organisers of the night Nisa Schebella said they wanted to gauge from the community who is going to be impacted by the project.

“We want the facts and we want to be clear about the process,” Nisa said.

“We do not want to be seen as negative, but certain development is not what Victor is.

“My vision for Victor is a place which is pristine, where we can surf, swim and see the whales. Tuna is not what Victor is.”

Currently the Development Assessment Commission (DAC) has re-opened submissions on the project.

Submissions close on November 26, and town planner Simon Coote and David Cooney will be at the Victor Harbor Yacht Club on Sunday, November 22, from 4pm to 7pm for anyone who needs assistance to write their submission or get some extra  information. 

“I have offered my professional experience  to assist people putting in a submission to DAC,” Simon said.

“I am aware for the average person it is often a bureaucratic confusing process.

“I am against the proposal, as it does not acknowledge the existing use of the Encounter coast and near shore waters and gives no consideration of the financial impact on existing businesses and activities such as surf schools, national sailing titles and surf lifesaving clubs.”

A spokesperson from state government department DEWNR said there has been no decision on the Oceanic Victor project and PIRSA is still assessing the aquaculture pilot lease.

“Contrary to reports the lease for the kiosk, toilets and other facilities on Granite Island is still under negotiation with no decision made,” the spokesperson said.

“It is also important to note that PIRSA has only responded to questions on the project in its submission, but at this stage has not approved the project.”

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