New Petition (Jan 2017)

Did you know the Whitsunday Regional Council is about to increase building heights in Airlie Beach? Residents thought (mistakenly) that the Airlie Beach building height issue had been dealt with in the original round of community consultations, feedback and submissions.

Show your support by signing our latest petition to Jackie Trad -Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning of Queensland

Sign the Petition

Press Clippings: Sunday Mail 8th Nov 2015

Excerpt from Sunday Mail (QLD) 8th Nov 2015

The council has made a submission to the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal, seeking a switch from a category 4 council to a category 5.

This would boost the mayor’s pay from $120,226 to $142,769, while councillors’ wages would rise from $63,870 to $82,655.

In its submission, the council argues that it is outperforming category 5 councils – and highlights its success in attracting tourists and Chinese investment.

“Currently, council is faced with Chinese investment (either committed or proposed) in the region approaching $2 billion,’’ it says.

One of those investors is Raymond Wang, who is planning a Chinatown-style development, including a hotel, apartments and luxury brands discount outlets village on land he successfully tendered to buy from the council.

The site is zoned for up to five storeys, but would increase to eight under proposed planning scheme changes.

Read the full story on the courier mail website

Press Clippings: Sunday Mail 25th Oct 2015

Excerpt from an article in the Sunday Mail (QLD) October 25th 2015:

“TROUBLE is brewing in paradise with residents of the idyllic resort town of Airlie Beach accusing the council of putting the interests of Chinese developers ahead of locals.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney has become embroiled in the controversy, having declared a conflict of interest in relation to a company planning a $300 million Chinatown complex, but denies any financial interest or favouritism.

Proposals in the council’s new draft planning scheme would lift building height limits from four storeys to eight in much of the town’s commercial area and to 12 floors at the Port of Airlie.

“It will destroy the unique, charming, iconic lowrise low density character which attracts people to the town – and turn it into another Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast,’’ said Roger Down, spokesman for the Fight for Airlie group which has gathered 800 submissions opposing the plan.

The council has been working to woo Chinese investors to the tourist region for the past couple of years and opponents of the rezoning claim it is designed to suit them.

Cr Whitney said the council was keen to boost the region’s economy and job growth and any changes would be to benefit the whole area, not individuals.“Even though there’s some angst with building heights, people should be excited that the Chinese are interested in investing in our region,” she said.

One potential winner from raising height allowances is Whitsunday Chinatown Investment Pty which plans a $300 million Chinatown commercial, retail and residential development, with buildings up to eight storeys, on land it bought from the council last year.”

view full article on the courier mail website

Submission Letter

Petitions and the rally have shown Councillors that the general public is not in favour of their draft planning scheme; But the ONLY method the council have allowed for the public to provide their thoughts on the draft plan is a written submission.

An example submission is available below for download. It’s provided in 3 different formats, the content of each letter is identical. The letter will need editing before submission to include your details. You can edit the content of the submission, add to it, or use this as a basis for your own submissions.

  • Documents attached to emails must be signed (printed and scanned) to be accepted by the council, an email signature is not sufficient to cover an attachment to an email
  • Submission deadline is 16th October. (from today, a postal submission will arrive too late)

See Submissions to Council for details on how to lodge your submission


Download Submission Letter (.docx word format)

Document has a total of 7 Pages – Note that ‘preview’ does not display entire document on some ipads, open in ‘pages’ or other editor to see the full letter.

Alternative Formats: Submission Letter (pdf format / for viewing / cut and paste)

Or: Submission Letter (.doc word 97-2003 format)


Airlie ‘Needs’ More Hotels

The Council tell us 8 and 12 Storeys is required because Airlie ‘Needs’ More Hotels: Not according to the Deloitte Access Economics Report “Queensland Tourism – Industry Outlook and Potential to 2020” (PDF)

“5.9.4 Hotel accommodation

Table 5.35 presents the number of rooms required to meet tourist numbers forecast for the Whitsundays region. A 55% occupancy rate is forecast for 2020 by the TFC, while the industry potential indicates a 70% occupancy rate will be observed.

Therefore, existing hotel infrastructure appears to be readily sufficient to meet future increases in visitor nights.

table 5.35


You can download the full report at

The Whitsundays section starts at page 88 (TFC = the Tourism Forecasting Committee)

Submissions to Council

More information about the proposed new planning scheme can be found on the councils website at:

There is a fact sheet on the above linked page that provides information about sending submissions and what the submission should include.

In order to be considered a properly made submission, the submission must:


  • Be in writing and, unless the submission is made electronically, be signed by each person who made the submission;
  • Be received during the notification period;
  • State the name and residential or business address of each person who made the submission;
  • State the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied on in support of the grounds; and
  • Be addressed to the Whitsunday Regional Council Chief Executive Officer.

Please ensure your submission is readable, particularly your name and contact details.

Submissions can be emailed to:

Deadline for submissions is 16th October. We have confirmed with the council, you can also hand deliver a submission “You are more than welcome to hand deliver your submission.  This will be taken by our Customer Service staff and delivered to our records department which will then be delivered to the Strategic Planning team for review.”


As a local rate payer, you can also contact your elected Councillors directly with your questions or concerns over this issue. Their email addresses are:

It is our understanding that 3 of the 7 Councillors are against the new plan. 4 Councillors who have historically voted together on previous issues are in favour. The plan could be accepted at the first council meeting after the deadline on 16th October. A majority vote (4 or more) is needed to approve the draft plan.


Also See:

Sample Submission Letter


Survey and Community Submission Forms

Download PDF Forms:

WRC Planning Scheme 2015 Community Submission Form 3 WRC Planning Scheme 2015 Community Survey Form 3


If you signed your support last weekend (26th Sept) It’s important to sign again if it’s possible. We have been advised that multiple signatures on a form creates a petition and may not carry the same weight as a document completed individually.

It’s important that surveys are submitted to the campaign group so we can keep a record of them in the event this issue is taken to state government. We will be collecting forms at the markets on Saturday 3rd and after the protest rally at Port of Airlie.

None of the above affects your right to produce your own written submission and submit it directly to the council CEO.

Protest Rally 3rd October

Further information for those attending the protest rally:

Saturday 3rd October 1pm

Last Updated: 03/Oct/15 at 17:00

Thanks to everyone to showed their support making the march stretch so far back along the beach.

View Photos from the Rally

Meeting Point: We will meet for 1pm at the Airlie Beach lagoon, car park on broadwater avenue, walking through the lagoon area to collect supporters who may be waiting near the lifeguard chair (previous advertised location).

Exact route along the beach and across the market area will depend on numbers. Volunteer marshals wearing hi-vis jackets will be there to guide the march, (please help them as best you can.) Take care crossing the road between the beach reserve (near sailing club) to Port of Airlie – the police should be on hand to stop traffic if needed.

On arrival at Port of Airlie (vacant land) speeches and further information presented. There will be the opportunity to submit surveys or community submission forms you may have completed –  forms should be available for you to complete. It’s important that surveys are submitted to the campaign group so we can keep a record of them in the event this issue is taken to state government.

Thank-you to all those who have already donated their time and services.

Event Contact: Michelle Lynes



A stage/platform/podium at Port of Airlie


Don’t Forget:

Sun Protection & Water, there is no shade at the Port of Airlie end point
Be civil to everyone you meet no matter what their opinions.


Last Minute Contact Point:

Someone will be at the Saturday markets approx 7:30am until approx 1pm (from there moving to port of Airlie).