Lease fight in court
MARINA business owners will face off against the State Government in the Land and Environment court next month over an ongoing lease battle.
For the better part of the past decade businesses including the Mantra and Great Sandy Straits Marina Resorts have been seeking freehold leases on what is now Crown Land.
The court dispute follows a reported breakdown in negotiations between businesses and the Department of Environment and Resource Management over the owners' bid to lease the land as freehold.
Yesterday one business owner accused the State Government of "double dipping", arguing most resorts and shops had already been paying freehold prices.
They said the "exorbitant" rates had contributed significantly to the demise of several businesses and without a reasonable offer from the State Government, which is believed to have demanded "market value", more closures would follow.
They also said the outgoings for their business had increased from $12,000 to $38,000 in the past six years.
The case will be heard in the Land and Environment Court on November 11.