Man mars marina launch
IT WAS supposed to be a day when the politicians could reflect on a job well done, on providing an asset that is predicted to be of great economic and social benefit to South Grafton.
But then along came the lone protester to spoil the party.
Deputy Speaker of the Federal Parliament and Member for Page, Ian Causley, Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, and Clarence Valley mayor Ian Tiley had joined other dignitaries and invited guests for the official opening of the new $565,000 South Grafton marina.
Mr Causley had just been handed the official scissors, been told they were sharp, and was heading off to cut the red ribbon when Bill Plunkett asked politely if he could speak.
He then told the crowd that the marina was in the wrong spot, that it would not attract yachties because they could not get under the bridge and, although well constructed and welcome, would not be popular with boat users.
Council general manager Stuart McPherson attempted to usher Mr Plunkett aside.
"This is not the time or the place," he started.
Mr Plunkett: "It is never the time or place."
His brief appearance interrupted what had been a smooth opening.
All speakers agreed it would be a great benefit to South Grafton.
Mr Causley said it was a significant project that would help boost usage of an 'under-utilised' Clarence River.
"This facility has great tourist potential," he said.