Wirrina Cove Marina dispute remains ongoing

Future plans: The future of the Wirrina Cove Marina is under the microscope. Photo: Marina St Vincent - Facebook.
Future plans: The future of the Wirrina Cove Marina is under the microscope. Photo: Marina St Vincent - Facebook.

Investment and a strategic plan is required to secure the future of the Wirrina Cove marina, according to Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

This follows a lengthy court battle regarding an unpaid $250,000 dredging bill, which recently resulted in the state government taking control of the facility.

Marina St Vincent operator Stephen Marks and his company New Wave Aerospace (NWA) were evicted from the marina in March, but concerns remain that infrastructure (including pontoons) will be removed from the site in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling.

Ms Sharkie said she was concerned NWA would remove pontoons and other valuable infrastructure, leaving the facility neglected for a significant period of time.

"The state government has been kicking the can down the road for decades when it comes to this site," Ms Sharkie said.

"They need a strategic plan and they need to commit to investing in this marina which is the only facility of its type on the Fleurieu."

Berth holder Trevor Gadd - the first plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against NWA - said he was bemused as to how a hydraulic boat lifter was allowed to be removed from the site on May 25, over a month after an April 20 cut off date, whereby remaining assets were to be removed from the site.

"This is about assets walking out the door well past the handover date, which could have been used to recoup the debts Mr Marks owes DPTI and South Australian taxpayers," Mr Gadd said.

"I'm concerned that although Mr Marks owes the tax payers of SA some $250,000, he has been allowed to sell and remove his assets.

"I would have thought DPTI should have stepped in after April 20 and put an 'abandoned goods' order in place to prevent such actions occurring."

Gone: The hydraulic boat lifter being removed from Wirrina Cove Marina on May 25, 2020.

Gone: The hydraulic boat lifter being removed from Wirrina Cove Marina on May 25, 2020.

A DPTI spokesperson confirmed the hydraulic boat lifter had been removed from the marina, but said the department could not comment further while court proceedings were ongoing.

Mr Gadd said the marina remained in a state of disrepair, with discarded assets strewn across the site.

"Building materials and shipping containers left on the site would have some value and could gradually eat into the money NWA owes DPTI," Mr Gadd said.

"The bottom line is, a deadline was given to remove remaining assets, NWA failed to follow this and now DPTI have failed to enforce it."

"The place is full of junk, there are five shipping containers on the site and there is plenty of building material laying around," Mr Gadd said.