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Revised plans. Same tactics

06 June 2006

Letter to the Editor Busselton~Dunsborough Mail

The revised Smiths Beach development has been presented to the Busselton Shire (ABC Online News, 31/05/2006).

Members of the community selected by the developer, Canal Rocks Pty Ltd, have had a sneak peek at the plans at a meeting in Dunsborough.

According to media reports, the plan is not to be open 'for public comment' for a number of months.

This recreates the 2005 paradox as the developer is already meeting with a selected section of the community. The leaky marketing to community supporters of the plan has started (again). Supporters are now free to spread biased, supportive views about the plans amongst the wider community, who have no access to the information.

On the same day The Mail reports that investigations into the last Busselton Shire Council election continue ("Still no word from CCC", p.5, 31/05/2006).

The wider community concerned about the development at Smiths Beach is left to wonder how much has actually changed in the past 6 months. The dollar value amount is the same as the proposal withdrawn in November 2005. That plan was withdrawn because the developers were still not able to meet basic local shire planning guidelines. The selectivity in what the developer deems 'community consultation' remains the same. Councillors with possible links to the developers may retain voting ability on the planned development. The eye catching dollar value of the project headlined the news report. Déjà vu.

Dollar value reporting of development projects is incomprehensible unless the costs and calculations are shown.

I hope The Mail will be examining that point before considering any such headlines.

What interested community members can conclude from the media report is that the development is still large, the developer's tactics are similar to previous attempts and that the Canal Rocks Pty Ltd development at Smiths Beach will be open for public comment in a few months. So keep an eye on your local media and the Internet, if you have access, and be prepared to give public comment and submissions.

Frank Gaschk, Yallingup

© Copyright 2006 by Rural Press Ltd. This report is for information only in order to inform readers about the this Rural Press Ltd report. No charge for such use is made and the material is not being used for commercial purposes. The text has not been modified from the original report.

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