South-West Ministry of Planning official admitted the office had erred
by endorsing provisions for a big development at Smiths Beach, it was
Smiths Beach resident Bill Mitchell said the official's comment two weeks
ago boosted his hopes of a back down from the 40ha, 700-lot development.
Ministry South-West manager Larry Guise said the comment,
if it had been made, was not the official position of his office or the
WA Planning Commission.
Mr Guise said there had been extensive public consultation
before the ministry released the Leeuwin Naturaliste statement of planning
policy in September 1998.
Mr Mitchell, who was project manager of the 50-lot
Gunyulgup Valley Estate subdivision five years ago, would not name the
official who allegedly made the statement.
Busselton shire president Beryle
Morgan defended the council's actions during the development of the Smiths
Mrs Morgan said she had concerns about the size of
the development but described opponents of the proposal as short-sighted.
"People have come and bought their own piece
of our paradise but when someone else has the same idea they don't want
to share," she said. "There is a lot of difference between people
buying property for personal use and those who are developing for money.
"But nothing has been done through the back door
and this agenda item has a long way to go yet."
A committee formed at a community meeting in Yallingup
on Tuesday night will fight the proposal. Former developer Kevin Merifield
will chair the committee.
Mr Merifield has come under criticism because of his
He lives on an 80ha farm he bought 25 years ago just
2km from Smiths Beach. He was influential in the development of the Meelup
Hill subdivision eight years ago and the recently completed Yallingup
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