Coun­cil to con­sult fur­ther on draft town plan

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity has a fur­ther 30 busi­ness days to com­ment on the coun­cil’s draft town plan­ning scheme, thanks to a mo­tion moved yes­ter­day by Deputy Mayor An­drew Will­cox.

Cr Will­cox said the coun­cil had lis­tened to the pub­lic.

“Well, I cer­tainly have and that’s why I’m go­ing for this – be­cause I’d like to hear from them a bit more.”

What was even­tu­ally passed at yes­ter­day’s coun­cil meet­ing was for the coun­cil to ap­prove “version four” of the draft plan­ning scheme, sub­ject to amend­ments to build­ing heights in cer­tain precincts.

At Precinct C, the blocks be­tween Shute Har­bour Rd and Water­son Way, build­ing heights were amended from 28m to 21m or from about eight to six storeys, with precincts D and F, the Mag­nums side of Shute Har­bour Rd and Port of Air­lie re­spec­tively, amended from 21m to 18m or from six storeys to five – with 18m the height of the ex­ist­ing Boathouse Apart­ments.

Cr Will­cox said he re­alised this was quite dif­fer­ent to the draft plan al­ready put be­fore the com­mu­nity, hence his rea­son for want­ing fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion.

“I know it’s very con­tro­ver­sial down there in the com­mu­nity, so I’d like to give them the chance to have a look at whether they’re com­fort­able enough with this pro­posal,” he said.

The mo­tion was even­tu­ally passed by five votes to two, with Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney and coun­cil­lor John Collins vot­ing against it.

Cr Collins was par­tic­u­larly against the amend­ments af­fect­ing the area be­side Water­son Way.

“We can look at this two ways,” he said.

“We can go down as pro­gres­sive coun­cil­lors who made a de­ci­sion to help the place progress a bit, or we can go down as fel­lows who were too fright­ened to make a move be­cause there was an elec­tion com­ing up.”

Mean­while, Cr Whit­ney said the con­sul­ta­tion would be no dif­fer­ent to what had al- ready been re­ceived.

“The con­sul­ta­tion … that most of us sat through and lis­tened to the other evening is ex­actly what has been the con­tent within the sub­mis­sions that you have be­fore you that you should’ve taken the time to read,” she said.

“And the out­comes that the plan­ning depart­ment have rec­om­mended have taken all of those into con­sid­er­a­tion, and I be­lieve per­son­ally that the com­mu­nity will be quite happy with where the plan­ning scheme has taken us, be­cause the rea­son why we asked... to go for­ward in this way was to cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and growth op­por­tu­ni­ties, and with what we cur­rently have down in Air­lie Beach, with four or five sto- reys does not de­liver.

“And to go back and cut this down, it is putting the nail in the cof­fin for the peo­ple.

“We as a coun­cil need to take a coura­geous step for­ward by look­ing af­ter the whole of the re­gion.”

Plan­ning di­rec­tor Dan Sta­ley said the con­sul­ta­tion would pro­ceed as it did pre­vi­ously and as re­quired.

NOT A DONE DEAL: Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney, flanked by for­mer mem­ber for Daw­son De-Anne Kelly, told at­ten­dees at a meet­ing on Mon­day night that coun­cil­lors did not yet know which way they would vote on the mo­tion to adopt the draft town plan­ning scheme.

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