Guidelines set for Canal Rocks
29 March 2006
By Jack Harrison, Busselton~Dunsborough Mail (p.9)
The long-running Canal Rocks development saga turned another corner this week when submissions closed on an Environmental Protection Authority scoping document setting out strategic assessment guidelines.
Ten submissions from organisations, including the Smiths Beach Action Group, and individuals had been recently received by the Monday cutt-off date.
The 83-page scoping document was released to the public on March 13.
An EPA spokesman said that while it was not normal procedure, the document was released to the public because of the enormous interest surrounding the Smiths Beach proposal.
He said that the submissions would be collated and modified as required.
They would then be used by Canal rocks Pty Ltd to draw up its major document covering all aspects of the proposed tourist development and residential subdivision.
That document would then go out for public comment for eight weeks.
Then all the submissions would go back to the EPA to be collated and sent to the developer for a response.
That response would be considered by the EPA, which could seek further information if required.
The EPA's report and recommendations to the Minister would then be released for a two week period to allow public appeals, if any.
Those appeals would be considered by an appeals convenor independent of the EPA.
The EPA report and decisions on any appeals would then be sent to the Minister for a final decision.
The process could take many months.
The major environmental factors covered in the scoping document were sustainability, flora and fauna, conservation areas, landscape and landforms, karst, surface water and groundwater quality, air quality (dust, greenhouse), noise, Aboriginal heritage and visual amenity.
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