OPINION: Why is the Mayor only starting the Jetty Foreshore conversation now?

DEAR News Of The Area,

IN the 11 November edition of this paper the Mayor placed a double page spread on what he termed a “community plan” for the Jetty Foreshores.

The motion that was passed by councillors to spend $20,000 of ratepayers money stated to “inform the community of these reservations with regards to the draft Master Plan for the Jetty Foreshores Precinct”.

I fail to see how seeking an opinion on an entirely new plan actually does this.

It just creates mass community confusion and perpetuates more divide in our community.

We were invited to make our opinion known, but were given no means to do so.

“There is no feedback process” were the Mayor’s words on the radio.

Let’s ignore the fact that when you look side by side the State Government plan and the Mayor’s plan delivering his vision will decimate the work of Dunecare.

Look at where the rotunda is positioned, the reception building and the movement of the road to accommodate the water park and playground.

Considerable removal of trees and habitat would have to happen to deliver his plan.

It’s easy enough to say it’s for illustrative purposes only, but the Mayor’s plan is very misleading as to how much green open space is actually there.

We’ll also ignore the fact that the Indigenous community provided feedback that they would prefer buildings not overlook Happy Valley.

But this is where Paul has chosen to place tourist accommodation and a bar.

Let’s focus on how in a radio interview Paul suggested that his plan was “just to start a conversation” and that “this is just to put forward alternatives that I and many of my council colleagues are VERY sure that our community really wants”.

Start the conversation?

We’ve been having this conversation for decades.

Paul has been on the Project Steering Advisory Committee since our first meeting in October 2020.

It was our role as representatives to seek discussion and opinions from the community for more than two years now.

Every meeting I would go in and report back on what I was hearing from the wider community.

Paul’s suggestion that now is the time to start a conversation makes no sense.

In my opinion, this latest action leads to a lack of trust from community members who took a considerable amount of their time to complete the extensive survey who now feel like they aren’t being listened to.

It’s a slap in the face to the PSAC members that worked tirelessly talking to people, getting their views and getting them to do the survey during the recent two year process.

The Mayor should have had this level of commitment to getting people’s opinions for the past two years.

I know as a community representative I certainly did.

Boambee East.

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