Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

JU­LIA LEU: Once ma­jor res­i­den­tial is per­mit­ted on the west­ern side of the high­way in one lo­ca­tion, it may open the door to sim­i­lar de­vel­op­ments re­gard­less of whether Coun­cil sup­ports fur­ther de­vel­op­ment in this lo­ca­tion or not. . . . . The Pro­posed Plan­ning Scheme con­sid­ers the en­tire Dou­glas Shire foot­print as a ho­moge­nous plan­ning area and does not con­sider the needs of one com­mu­nity over an­other, rather it pro­poses so­lu­tions that ben­e­fit and com­ple­ment the whole Shire. In­de­pen­dent liv­ing for sea-chang­ers and re­tirees in Moss­man for in­stance of­fers the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as in­de­pen­dent liv­ing on the out­skirts of Port Dou­glas. It is closer to med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and govern­ment ser­vices, a sim­i­lar dis­tance from the beach and only 10 min­utes drive from Port Dou­glas. ABI­GAIL NOLI: Coun­cil hasn’t fully ex­plored ev­ery­thing, so I have yet to de­cide what I be­lieve is the best course of ac­tion. The chal­lenge in de­cid­ing about this pro­posal is to un­der­stand the re­la­tion­ships be­tween the three fac­tors that I am obliged to equally bal­ance when in con­sid­er­a­tion. The econ­omy – Re­tire­ment vil­lages in other parts of Aus­tralia are not the bringers of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment that pro­mot­ers want you to be­lieve. RVs ac­tu­ally ar­ti­fi­cially force house prices up and squeeze out fam­i­lies try­ing to buy. Own­ers of re­tire­ment village houses also tend not to live in their houses all year so they don’t ac­tu­ally spend a lot of money in the shire. The en­vi­ron­ment – Is this the best and only site when con­sid­er­ing the to­tal of the en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors. Is high den­sity hous­ing in that area suit­able, de­sir­able or even nec­es­sary? So­cial ob­jec­tives – Re­search has shown seg­re­gated liv­ing is not favoured to pro­mote good com­mu­ni­ties. Are there other so­cial ob­jec­tives to be ex­plored? DAVID CAREY: It goes against the prin­ci­ples of the fixed ur­ban foot­print, which recog­nises im­por­tant lim­i­ta­tions on vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture. The Fer­rero road de­vel­op­ment pro­poses in ex­cess of 150 al­lot­ments in the first stage with the pos­si­bil­ity of a sec­ond stage propos­ing at least that. That is es­sen­tially the equiv­a­lent of an­other town. My un­der­stand­ing also is that the Coun­cil can­not re­zone the site for “re­tire­ment village”. This is not a le­git­i­mate zone de­scrip­tion. It would have to be zoned “res­i­den­tial” which means any type of con­form­ing res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment could go there. ROY ZAMMATARO: I’m not in sup­port of it. It’s sub­di­vi­sion by an­other name. The ur­ban foot­print is there as part of the town plan, and it was put in place for a rea­son. I’m in sup­port of keep­ing the tourism and agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries strong, and sub­di­vid­ing ru­ral land is cer­tainly not go­ing to help. There is plenty of room else­where in the shire for that developer to build. Once you ap­prove that type of sub­di­vi­son on that side of the high­way, it opens up a can of worms. I’ve stip­u­lated all along (and dur­ing the elec­tion) that I would sup­port the ur­ban foot­print. I don’t be­lieve we should have an area where just older peo­ple can live. I don’t think that older peo­ple want to live with just older peo­ple.

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