PETITION AGAINST HEIGHTS
THE Airlie Beach town plan has been sent to the State Government for final approval, but a group of residents is fighting to stop it in its tracks.
A group of concerned residents circulated an online petition in January, protesting against increased building heights in Airlie Beach.
The group aims to collect 1000 signatures and has received more than 480 responses to date.
Portside Whitsunday owner Colleen Dodds said she and others supported the petition so people would realise what was at stake.
“What was fought against last year with marches of hundreds of people has actually happened and gone through, only this one is worse,” she said.
If the town plan goes ahead 12-metre building heights could be approved.
This worries the group, particularly regarding the zone around Broadwater Avenue and a proposed development site near the Port of Airlie.
Ms Dodds stressed she was pro-development as long as it was low-rise development.
“People come here because of the village atmosphere,” she said.
“People from Sydney, Melbourne and overseas say if there were highrises in Airlie Beach, they would go to Brisbane because it will be the same and saves them an airfare.”
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said a balance could be struck between developing an internationally branded premium hotel and maintaining tourism appeal.
“The reality is we have an extra 130,000 seats arriving into the region this March and April and what I would say is at some point there will be pressure on supply and demand,” he said.
Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Wilcox said the plan was acceptable to most.
“In terms of consultation, by and large most people are happy with it,” he said.
If the Queensland Government approves the plan, it will be implemented in mid-2017.
Ms Dodds called on people to sign the petition on change.org.
WORRIED: Nigel Pemberton, Jo Matthews, Colleen Dodds, Susan Watson and Brent Jones want Airlie to retain its low-rise village atmosphere.