OF COURSE: Reg Lawler claims support from businessman Jay Kent for his plan to give Rainbow Beach back its golf course.PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
OF COURSE: Reg Lawler claims support from businessman Jay Kent for his plan to give Rainbow Beach back its golf course.PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Rainbow Shores lease end offers opportunity for golf course

THE upcoming expiry of the Rainbow Shores development lease offers a unique opportunity to give Rainbow Beach a real golf course, according to Inskip Point camping and conservation advocate Reg Lawler.

Mr Lawler this week claimed support from several Rainbow Beach businesses for his plan to have the community to take back the Rainbow Shores golf course.

The golf course is on land earmarked for development as a condition of the Shores lease.

And recently, the course was closed, apparently by Rainbow Shores owner Andreas Krauchi.

Mr Lawler says Mr Krauchi's hold on the area expires in two weeks, giving the state government the legal right to take back the land.

Mr Lawler said he had not heard of any plan to extend the lease and did not believe such an extension could be justified in terms of government or community interest. The golf course was on an area set down for a six-storey development, he said.

"The highest density development (is proposed) in an area of 3.192ha.

"It is in the south-western corner and is substantially covered by the golf course.

"The area was zoned for buildings up to six storeys high more than 20 years ago by the then Widgee Shire Council," he said.

Mr Lawler says that if the lease was not developed within a fortnight and the lease was not extended, "the land becomes vacant crown land".

"The lease contains a provision that no compensation is payable to Rainbow Shores," he said.

Although the Rainbow Beach business community has generally supported Mr Krauchi's plans to expand the development, much of this support appears to have evaporated in the heat of recent political confrontation.

The role of Krauchi advocate Scott Elms appears to have alienated considerable business support, particularly after Mr Elms promoted Rainbow Beach as being "closed for business," following the court rejection of the Rainbow Shores Stage II development.

Mr Elms has also paid a popularity price for his role in revealing details about MP David Gibson's criminal past, information which ultimately led to Mr Gibson having a nervous breakdown and announcing that he would stand down as Gympie MP at the next election.

Now Mr Lawler claims substantial support, if not for him, then at least for his idea of saving the golf course for public use.

One of those backing Mr Lawler is Rainbow Beach Rd business operator and former Shores golf club supporter Jay Kent, who owns Cafe Jilarty.

Mr Kent, a committee member of the Rainbow Beach Commerce and Tourism Association, reportedly wants the golf course retained as just that.

Mr Lawler says Mr Kent has written to the state government and Gympie Regional Council asking that the lease not be renewed and the golf course land instead leased to the council for sub-letting to a golf club.

Mr Kent could not be contacted on his mobile yesterday and Mr Krauchi was overseas and had not responded to a Gympie Times email by publication deadline yesterday afternoon.