No joy yet in Pumicestone Passage flight battle
A popular seaplane business which recently won international recognition still faces a battle to take flight from a prized environmental asset.
Paradise Seaplanes is seeking approval for a trial permit to run joy flights over the Pumicestone Passage, with passengers to embark and disembark at Apex Park in Golden Beach.
Paradise Seaplanes owner Shawn Kelly said they were still struggling to gather support from local councillor Terry Landsberg for the trial permit, despite having recently been awarded a TripAdvisor People's Choice Award.
He said the award meant they were in the top 10 per cent of activities worldwide.
Mr Kelly said he'd offered to take Cr Landsberg for a flight, but the offer had not been taken up.
"I find this especially strange given that Queensland is suffering some of the highest unemployment in the country, and given that he (Cr Landsberg) holds the tourism portfolio with council," Mr Kelly said.
"One would think that he would be right behind an opportunity to support an award-winning small business."
Cr Landsberg said he'd already met with Mr Kelly and Cr Jason O'Pray, and discussed the proposal.
Cr Landsberg said he'd asked Mr Kelly to engage with several community groups in the area, as he felt it was "an extremely sensitive issue" given the environmental importance of the Passage.
Cr Landsberg said if he'd received positive feedback from the groups, then he would've looked into a temporary permit, but he said he'd received feedback from "a couple of groups" which hadn't been positive about the proposal.
The first-term councillor said he wouldn't be prepared to support a trial permit until Mr Kelly had the support of those groups, and wouldn't be interested in a flight until further consultation had been undertaken.
"It's a really sensitive area down here," Cr Landsberg said.
"It's not the Maroochy River."