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Clear up (Save) Smiths (Beach) website confusion

15 February 2007

Letter by Frank Gaschk, Busselton~Dunsborough Mail

In response to the most recent "Smiths Beach Bulletin" advertisement and local media debate about Smiths Beach; this time instead of a named coastal development spokesperson, the developer's writer is anonymous. He or she hides behind the Canal Rocks P/L company name and shoots bulletins at a voluntary community-based campaign.

The www.savesmithsbeach.com web site is one part of a growing community disquiet about inappropriate coastal development. The Smiths Beach Action Group (SBAG) is another part and an officially recognised community advocate group. The web site and the action group are not the same thing. The webmaster of www.savesmithsbeach.com works in community with the SBAG committee; that means there is a common goal.

The content of the web site is gathered from contributions and reports from a wide range of community individuals, media and local government sources. The web site provides information and history for interested people to view and make up their own minds about Smiths Beach development concerns. The web site aims to encourage community involvement, asks people to think past any developer's advertising claims and to have a voice on an important issue.

The image presented under a column headed "Smiths Beach Action Group", in the recent advertisement "Smiths Beach Bulletin no.4", was an individual community person's submission to the www.savesmithsbeach.com gallery, it was not placed on the web by, or under instruction of, the Smiths Beach Action Group.

Any fair minded person can see the image is a cartoon. It depicts accurate human scale compared to potential building heights of 7.5m to 10m. The cartoon was drawn in response to viewing the "images (that) were taken from the developer's own CD-Rom of their development proposal"*, showing the multistorey buildings planned for the sparsely vegetated area of the Smiths Beach hillside (* "Paid campaign muddies the waters", The Mail, 31/01/07).

The images were presented at recent public meetings and displays. The cartoon that can be found on www.savesmithsbeach.com, is an artist's impression. The web site is unable to republish the developer's images without permission.

In contrast, Canal Rocks P/L published the cartoon in their advertisement without permission. In the advertisement Canal Rocks P/L fail to publish their own image(s) for readers to make a comparison to a cartoon that the developer clearly does not like.

Why not use their own image(s) to highlight their advertisement?

Fair minded people who attended the recent public displays and have viewed the images understand.

Cartoons are drawn to make people smile or to make people blink. But most of all they are there to make people think. View the developer's images when they are on public display.

I am not a Smiths Beach Action Group spokesperson. I support the SBAG but I am an individual in the community like you, the reader.

Bad things happen when good citizens remain silent.

Copyright 2007 by Rural Press Ltd. This report is for information only in order to inform readers about this 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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