New decision makers for Gnarabup site

A SPECIAL meeting of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has resulted in a decision to take the thorny Gnarabup development issue out of the hands of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River staff.

The move will leave any decisions in relation to the proposed $30 million development in the hands of the chief executive officer, Ian Bodill, in consultation with the president on behalf of the council.

Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president Nick Dornan said the Gnarabup issue had taken up a huge amount of time for staff.

“This leaves it with the chief executive officer in consultation with the president on behalf of the council,” Mr Dornan said.

“It just unfetters the planning staff.”

Mr Dornan poured cold water on talk regarding the departure of a senior staff member for the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

“This meeting was just one of many meetings we’ve had on this issue in relation to subdivision works and the clearing of lots,” Mr Dornan said.

“What came out of the meeting was we won’t consider any item until the Town Planning Tribunal has handed down a decision about jurisdiction. It’s still just a question of watching this space.”

State Planning and Infra-structure Minister Alannah MacTiernan travelled to Margaret River in January to hear the concerns of the local community.

Ms McTiernan rejected calls for a judicial inquiry into the clearing of land at Gnarabup, claiming there was no basis for such an inquiry.

At the time there were concerns that pressure was being exerted on councillors from both the State Government, the developer and from within the Shire to change the town planning scheme and allow the development to proceed.

It is understood the South West Regional Planning Committee has been asked to consider a second sub-division application that has been put forward by the developer Mark Hohnen’s Gnarabup Beach.

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