Addressing Tourism Precinct Concerns in the Draft LPS

Published on Friday, 19 January 2024 at 2:59:18 PM

Interested community members may be aware of growing community discussion around proposed Tourism Precincts in the current draft Local Planning Strategy (LPS) which was recently out for public comment.
We have been listening and we are still listening to the community sentiment, feedback and ideas that this conversation is generating locally. But, there are a few misconceptions out there which are contributing to unnecessary concerns. Let us clarify:
▪️ MISCONCEPTION 1: COUNCIL WON’T CHANGE THE DOCUMENT, THE DECISION IS BASICALLY MADE
No decision has been made about the LPS. The document you’re seeing is a draft. The next steps are for officers and the Working Group to carefully review all community feedback received during the public comment period, research any potential changes on the back of the submissions and make necessary changes to the draft document. Then, the new draft will need to be returned to Council for its consideration, at which point Council will also receive a detailed public comment submissions report, so Councillors can review the community feedback before making their decision.
After this process, if Council votes to endorse the new LPS, it will be presented to the WA Planning Commission and the Minister for approval. That is when ‘the decision is made’.
▪️ MISCONCEPTION 2: THE DRAFT LPS IS WAY TOO LONG AND DETAILED FOR THE AVERAGE COMMUNITY MEMBER TO UNDERSTAND
Yes, we recognise this and agree it is a detailed and complex document. This is why the review process has included a years-long engagement with our community, including workshops, drop-in days, conversation cafes, surveys, community meetings and more. This dove-tails in with the extensive community consultation that was also done for the Sustainable Tourism Strategy.
The actual LPS document is required by legislation to be as detailed as it is, so planning officers and government departments can utilise it to inform important decision making about local development in the future.
We want it to be detailed, because that helps us say no to insensitive developments that do not align with our community expectations, while ensuring we can say yes to sensitive projects that will contribute positively to our community.
▪️ MISCONCEPTION 3: TOURISM PRECINCTS THAT IMPACT RESIDENTS ARE HIDDEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DOCUMENT
We haven’t attempted to hide anything, we’ve tried to produce a comprehensive document that covers a wide range of important considerations for the future of development in our community. Tourism is one of those considerations.
▪️ MISCONCEPTION 4: THE SHIRE WANTS TO DESTROY OUR TOWN WITH TOURISM PRECINCTS
We absolutely do not! Our Shire is staffed by dedicated locals who care deeply about their work in the service of our community. Our staff and Councillors are your neighbours, friends and local volunteers. You can always safely assume, that we are all doing our very best to make sure we all live in a place that is well-looked after.
The intent of the proposed Tourism Precincts is to create more control on tourism, not less. But we acknowledge the significant community interest in this proposal so we will be carefully reviewing that part of the draft LPS before it’s sent back to Council for endorsement.
If you have any concerns about a Shire-related initiative you will always find a friendly person at the Shire willing to find answers to your questions and concerns.
Come and ask us if you have a question, don’t rely on social media for ‘facts’.
Find out more about our Strategic visioning documents and consultations at the links below:

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