controversial proposal for a big development at Smiths Beach near Yallingup
might have been dumped this week - but an angry community still wants
Smiths Beach Action Group, which galvanised community support against
the proponents, said the WA Planning Commission process which allowed
the proposal to develop was flawed.
committeeman Bill Mitchell said yesterday the community would not turn
its back just because the proponents had withdrawn their plan.
Mr Mitchell promised a diligent public scrutiny when
the revised proposal was resubmitted.
Former Busselton Shire councillors Bob McKay and Shelley
Cullen believe they were duped by the commission.
were steering committee members for the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge statement
of planning policy but denied that they had heard discussion of a major
development at Smiths Beach.
Mr McKay said a change from the policy's draft proposal
of a low-density development was rubber-stamped to become a major tourist
and residential package.
The steering committee decided on October 30, 1997,
not to review the settlement hierarchy proposed in the draft policy. Just
over a month later, a change to the proponentsí lot at Smiths Beach had
been mysteriously included for the final policy.
The change was made despite most of the 998 public
submissions on the draft policy opposed to major development
at the site.
"There was never any mention whatsoever of expansion
at the steering committee meetings," an angry Mr McKay said. "Then
all of a sudden we're talking about a new town on the coast and the biggest
single development the shire had considered.
"We were representatives of the community and
people were coming up to ask how we could have agreed with it."
Mr Mitchell said that if the proponents had decided
to withdraw their plans to let community anger ease before resubmitting
a similar project, they again would face powerful opposition.
"It's the oldest trick in the book, but they
won't get away with it," he said.
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