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What happened in 1997?

29 January 2007

Letter by Frank Gaschk to the Busselton~Dunsborough Mail

I would like to add my voice to the questions posed by Barry Newman (The Mail: "Tampering with the truth" 24/01/07 and "Questions remain on Smiths development" 03/01/07) and Pauline Clay (The Mail: "Voice for many" 20/12/06).

In his letters Mr Newman highlights a change to a 1995 committee report given to council.

Who orchestrated the changes to the draft planning documents and reports that includes planning for Smiths Beach to allow inappropriate development?

By whose authority were the documents and reports changed?

If the state planning document had not undergone that specific change, there would be no community uproar and opposition to development at scenic Smiths Beach.

Interested people will have an opportunity to comment on the most recent development proposal for Smiths Beach during 2007. Unfortunately public submissions on the latest proposal will be specific to that development plan. Asking for historical planning aberrations to be investigated and explained during the future public submission period will be ink and energy wasted.

The time to ask for investigation into how this all came about is now, before the development takes any further destructive steps forward.

In 1997 almost 1000 public submissions on the planning policy for the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge stated an opposition to major development at Smiths Beach. The submissions favoured a low-key tourist option for a node of less than 500 people. That's just a bit less than will be accommodated at Smiths Beach from early 2007.

A few hours of internet research reveal some names-in-common between the early Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigations and decision makers and public officers in 1994 -1998. There is the need to find some clear answers. Maybe the CCC could look into this matter as well?

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