The DSRA committee’s open letter to its membership raises some interesting questions. It includes the following statement:
“The DSRA committee’s role, as guided by our constitution, is ‘to use the Association’s best endeavours to safeguard the interests of ratepayers within the territory’.”
The DSRA constitution includes the following
The objects and purpose of the Association shall be:-
a. To establish a no-political and non-sectarian Ratepayers Association to provide a forum for its members.
b. To promote and develop civic pride in the Territory.
c. To use the Associations best endeavours to safeguard the interests of the Ratepayers within the Territory.
d. To promote acceptable development in the Territory.
e. To take such action in respect of all the foregoing objects and purposes as shall be resolved by the Association.
The constitution does not appear to make the committee responsible for safeguarding the interests of the ratepayers within the territory, or for deciding what these interests might be. It seems quite clear that it should be up to the association’s membership to decide what is in its best interest and what action should be undertaken to safeguard it.
While the constitution does give the President and the Secretary / Treasurer the power to run the day to day matters of the Association, I’m finding it a bit of a stretch to see how this delegated authority extends to advocating in favour of the Cambria SAP with amendments.
I am also unaware that anything has been resolved by the association regarding negotiating with the proponents. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the DSRA resolving to negotiate some of the contentious details of the SAP with the proponents. It’s just that we (the members) haven’t.
The open letter also makes the following statement:
“Stopping the SAP supports the broader anti-development agenda of green groups but doesn't serve the interests of our community.”
The DSRA constitution clearly establishes that our association is a non-political association.
The political opinions of our membership are likely to include views that cross the entire political spectrum. Our organisation has been formed to represent all its members regardless of their political affiliations. In making the generalisation, as the committee has, that green groups have anti-development agenda’s and therefore their opinions are somehow not in the best interests of our community, you appear to be making a political statement that would disenfranchise a sizable proportion of our membership.
You ask us, as members, to consider if we understand what stopping the SAP might mean. You say that:
“As explained on the Council website, most of the development envisaged in the concept plan in the vicinity of Dolphin Sands and Cambria can occur without the SAP amendment. This includes accommodation, the golf course and rezoning the land surrounding the Cambria homestead.”
What the Council’s Planning Officer’s report actually says is:
“ It should be noted that many of the uses envisaged by the Cambria SAP can be considered under existing zones consistent with this policy position.”
You then advise us that:
“The use standards in the SAP (eg. building heights) are consistent with the current planning scheme.”
The current planning scheme is the Glamorgan Spring Bay Interim Planning Scheme. Many of the directives included in the SAP (building height, setbacks, subdivision allotment sizes etc.) are definitely not consistent with the current planning scheme. They have in fact been drawn from the future Tasmanian Planning Scheme SPP, which has not yet been implemented – and which uses a different zoning scheme (according to the draft LPS zoning maps submitted to the Tasmanian Planning Commission by GSBC).
Obviously a SAP is not necessary for a rezoning application, and some of the development ideas outlined in the masterplan might be able to be considered under the current planning scheme.
However, as there is currently no development application (and Mr Hu has openly stated that any future development application will likely include few of the elements shown in the masterplan), we have no idea what the proponents are actually considering.
It would be naive in the extreme to think that the proponents would have gone to this much effort and expense if they did not intend to take advantage of the relaxations to the current planning scheme this Cambria SAP will deliver.
Ross & Robyn Irving