Op­po­si­tion waved off

Melville Times - - FRONT PAGE - Bryce Luff

OP­PO­NENTS of a wave park pro­posed for Tomp­kins Park fear they will be shut out from chal­leng­ing the project fol­low­ing news a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion will not have to clear the Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions (DBCA) as ini­tially ex­pected.

Wave Park Group and the City of Melville signed off on a lease agree­ment in April.

A de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for the $25 mil­lion Al­fred Cove surf fa­cil­ity – named Urb­n­surf Perth – is ex­pected to be lodged in late 2017.

That ap­pli­ca­tion was set to be scru­ti­nised by the DBCA be­fore a rec­om­men­da­tion was put to the En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter for ap­proval.

But in a letter to the Al­fred Cove Ac­tion Group last month, DBCA act­ing di­rec­tor Mark Cu­g­ley said that would not be the case be­cause the three lots that make up the project site did not fall wholly within the Swan River De­vel­op­ment Con­trol Area.

It means the ap­pli­ca­tion will there­fore not be as­sessed by DBCA un­der the Swan and Can­ning Rivers Man­age­ment Act 2006, but rather by the Western Aus­tralian Plan­ning Com­mis­sion (WAPC) or a Joint De­vel­op­ment As­sess­ment Panel (JDAP).

Al­fred Cove Ac­tion Group spokesman David Maynier said the group was con­cerned the new as­sess­ment hur­dles would not in­clude pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

He said the group feared a Metro Cen­tral JDAP panel meet­ing al­low­ing them to present their case would be use­less be­cause its panel – which in­cludes two Melville coun­cil­lors in favour of the project should it clear en­vi­ron­men­tal mark­ers – would have al­ready made up their mind.

“We are strug­gling to find out what op­por­tu­nity there is for pub­lic com­ment,” Mr Maynier said.

A WAPC spokes­woman said there “are no ex­press pro­vi­sions in the Metropoli­tan Re­gional Scheme for de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions to be ad­ver­tised”.

“Re­fer­ral agen­cies may choose to seek pub­lic com­ment in or­der to in­form their ad­vice or rec­om­men­da­tion to the WAPC on the mat­ter,” she said.

In his letter, Mr Cu­g­ley said the Swan River Trust – an ad­vi­sory body for the Swan and Can­ning rivers – would pro­vide ad­vice to the WAPC or JDAP.

“If the WAPC or JDAP dis­agrees with the Trust’s ad­vice, the ap­pli­ca­tion will need to be re­solved in the man­ner de­ter­mined by the Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and the Min­is­ter for Plan­ning,” he said.

That was con­firmed by a sec­ond DBCA spokes­woman.

“As part of this process the WAPC/JDAP will re­fer the ap­pli­ca­tion to the Swan River Trust for bind­ing ad­vice,” she said.

City of Melville chief ex­ec­u­tive Shayne Sil­cox said the City was yet to re­ceive for­mal ad­vice from the DBCA or WAPC re­gard­ing changes to the de­vel­op­ment as­sess­ment process.

“Upon re­ceipt of any for­mal ad­vice from ei­ther agency, the City will pro­vide an up­date on its web­site,” Dr Sil­cox said.

If plan­ning ap­proval is re­ceived, con­struc­tion should com­mence to­wards the end of 2018 and the first waves rid­den in early 2020.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.