Fight for Airlie continues lobbying at local and State level
The Fight for Airlie group delivered over 800 signed submissions from the local community to the Whitsunday Regional Council offices on Thursday 15 October, before the Friday closing date for submissions on the Draft Planning Scheme.
Kirsten Grace, who scanned all the submissions and delivered them to Council, said “The Community response has been enormous considering Council has given an inadequate time for genuine community consultation. In addition to all the submissions I lodged I know that hundreds of other concerned residents and property owners have also lodged their own submissions with Council. The people of the Whitsundays are not satisfied that their long history of objecting to excessive development has been ignored yet again. This town has fought to preserve a village feel and we don’t intend to lose it now.”
In addition to all the paper submissions, over 800 people signed the change.org petition online. The group also conducted a survey to provide some constructive feedback to Council. The results showed that 80% of residents and 67% of visitors were opposed to the 4 storey height increase and 100% of respondents were opposed to 8 and 12 storey development. 69% of visitors said that if the town plan were to proceed that it would affect their future plans to return.
People can still sign the online petition and the Fight for Airlie group is continuing to survey locals and visitors for their representations to State Government Ministers. The Fight for Airlie Group requests that Council clearly outlines the process now submissions have closed and precisely inform the community when, how and who will review these submissions and advise how issues raised and decisions will be incorporated into changes to the draft plan in the coming months.
The hope of the newly organised group is that all Councillors will pay attention to the concerns of the community, respond to suggested changes to the draft plan and act in an open and accountable manner. Mr Roger Down, another member of the group said, “There has been deep dismay in the community at the lack of consultation and we hope the Councillors have heard us loud and clear. It’s not just local residents who care about this issue. We have heard from people all over the world who love this special town and want to see sympathetic development within the environment we have successfully created to now. The village atmosphere is our point of difference and we need to maintain it.”
Amended 23 Oct 2015