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Earmuffed approach to development

21 September 2006

Letter to the Editor, Busselton~Dunsborough Mail

SMITHS Beach and the west side of the Naturaliste Ridge currently are a beautiful place.

Unfortunately the beauty and importance of the place attracts, rather than protects it from, the seachange phenomenon.

Do we wish the significant change of a planned, large coastal town impacting upon what already exists with repercussions for the whole area, or do we, as a concerned community, wish to conserve and maintain an important sense of place?

Observations from a community point of view over the past six years show that the uninvited developer may prevaricate but does not demonstrate a full recognition of the significance of the place or the shockwaves of the long-term impacts that will result from their proposal.

Neill Stevens, project manager, Smiths Beach project, at long last speaks to the wider community in the letter, "Smiths plan is open to public" (Mail, September 9).

Unfortunately, the writer is inaccurate with his words and as his unscathed target I claim a right of reply.

The writer takes aim and fires off his misinterpretations and false assertions at an interested observer and commentator rather than adequately addressing repeated concerns about a likely large and inappropriate coastal development.

It is a further indication to me, as one concerned observer of the Smiths Beach development process, that the anonymous developers Mr Stevens represents have taken the same earmuffed, bulldozing approach to development as their project manager does, in his first attempt at wider community communication.

I will take his letter as an invitation to further participate in the Smiths Beach development process via these essential community letters pages.

The full extent of the equivocation by Mr Stevens has been afforded due consideration and is presented for public viewing.

I have fully dissected the "Smiths plan is open to public" letter on the web site.

I invite interested readers to view the careful response, and full text and context of my letter(s) rather than the paraphrased and selectively quoted form presented by Mr Stevens.

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