SAVE OUR Foreshore has vowed to ‘go all the way to the Supreme Court’, following stalled mediation meetings with Port of Airlie/Meridien in Receivership and Whitsunday Regional Council.
The negotiations are concerning the proposed high-rise tower of 47m, in a 18m zone, in Airlie Beach, and a ‘landgrab’ of public parkland.
Save our Foreshore Inc. is the community group that has already successfully prevented other foreshore public land high-rise landgrabs going ahead, as well as stopping an open pit oil shale mine on the Goorganga wetlands (which would have also meant the loss of Whitsunday Coast Airport).
The group’s president Suzette Pelt said that SOF was now preparing to continue court action in the Planning & Environment Court, in Brisbane.
“We are committed to representing the community and public interest in this shameful development proposal that not only conflicts massively with the town plan but also puts our iconic Whitsunday and Airlie Beach low-rise, village character at risk,” Mrs Pelt said.
“Last Friday, Save Our Foreshore Inc appeared in a court directed mediation session with Port of Airlie/Meridien in receivership and Council.
“The message we took was that maximum heights are 18m and the town plan must stand. And that’s what we will continue to take, all the way to the Supreme Court, if needed. People live and invest in the Whitsundays because of its unique lifestyle and character.
“There is no issue with aspirational plans to develop five-star hotel accommodation but in the right place, in the right style, and according to the town plan is not too much to expect. There are massive flaws in this proposal.
“If we don’t have a Town Plan that is applied consistently without special treatment for a developer in receivership, where does that end?”.
Mrs Pelt said she was sure there were hundreds ‘if not thousands’ of people who had building applications refused because their plans did not comply with town planning requirements.
“Yet, we have a proposal for a high-rise tower, on the foreshore, that takes public parkland and fails to meet the town plan in heights and other serious impacts, that this council approves.”
She said the court case could cost ratepayers between $250,000 and $350,000 because of ‘council’s active role against their community’.
Mrs Pelt also pointed out that the Meridien Group behind the development was in receivership.
“We can’t understand why the council would be backing a company already in receivership,” she said.
Mrs Pelt said SOF ‘can’t thank our supporters enough’.
“Every donation, small and large, adds up to being able to fund nearly 12 months of legal action, to date, and ongoing.” To help, visit the Go Fund Me page or the Facebook page.