‘LET PEO­PLE VOTE’

Call to re­solve town plan at elec­tion of 2016

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

WHITSUNDAY Re­gional Coun­cil has re­solved to take its con­tentious draft town plan­ning scheme back out to con­sul­ta­tion – but only with se­lected com­mu­nity groups.

In­di­vid­ual meet­ings be­tween Coun­cil and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Whitsunday Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, Whitsunday Re­gional Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion, Air­lie Beach Cham­ber of Com­merce, Save Our Fore­shore, Fight for Air­lie group and body cor­po­rate man­agers from Golden Orchid Drive have been or­gan­ised for next Tues­day, Novem­ber 10.

Each group will have half an hour to make its case to coun­cil, with up to three speak­ers per­mit­ted.

The Whitsunday Re­gional Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion was ini­tially left off mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney’s list of or­gan­i­sa­tions to en­gage with, but was added af­ter Crs Atkin­son, Ra­m­age, and Will­cox said they were hap- py to in­clude them at the coun­cil meet­ing last week.

Speak­ing on be­half of Fight for Air­lie, which op­poses pro­posed build­ing height changes, Michelle Lynes said the meet­ings should not just be for stake­holder groups but for the broader com­mu­nity as well.

“And as a group we don’t feel it’s right to have it be­hind closed doors be­cause, one, we don’t trust the coun­cil and two, this is Aus­tralia for God’s sake...” she said. Cr Jen­nifer Whit­ney said it was for coun­cil­lors to de­cide whether there would be fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity af­ter next week’s meet­ing.

“But we’re get­ting close to meet­ing our leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments and mov­ing ahead with this,” she said.

Cr Whit­ney said the com­mu­nity had been able to make sub­mis­sions for an ex­tended pe­riod of time, with the de­ci­sion now made to dis­cuss the top two or three is­sues raised with a cross-sec­tion of groups.

Nonethe­less, Fight for Air­lie mem­ber Roger Down said that in a demo­cratic so­ci­ety, the only way to set­tle this was at an elec­tion.

“The only way some­thing of this mag­ni­tude can be set­tled is by a pub­lic vote and we have that op­por­tu­nity in March,” he said.

“Let the peo­ple vote.”

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