Moore River Company justifies its development plans with some statements that FOMRE disagree with.
Myth 1. “The development south of Moore River will result in a more sustainable future and better services for the surrounding communities.”
This will not grow Guilderton, it will start an unsustainable separate township, mainly of intermittently resident retirees, without community infrastructure or employment opportunities, analogous to Alan Bond’s Two Rocks development in 1969, which has had great problems over the years.
Myth 2. “Over time this will allow the township of Guilderton and the surrounding rural estates to grow to a size that attracts a primary school, and shopping and community facilities."
Developments only bring schools if they attract children, which this one is unlikely to do. Shopping will only improve when there is an increased locally permanently resident population. The Shire Council is already working on a future service hub site, far more centrally located than the Moore River Company’s location.
Myth 3. “Scaling back the size of the development will address environmental concerns...”
This piece of land is a unique piece of Western Australia’s environmental and touristic heritage, which should never be developed for urban housing but should remain available for recreation in perpetuity, as is Kings Park. Once a small development occurs there will eventually be demand to expand it, and the Moore River Estuary will become a second Mandurah.
Myth 4. (This is) “treating the landowners fairly, because their land has been zoned for urban development since 1995,”
The rezoning of 1995 was a bad decision, made in the face of overwhelming opposition from the Guilderton Community, which the government of today should have the courage to overturn. We have planning laws because no landowner anywhere has the unfettered right to do what he wishes with his land to the detriment of the wider community.
SEVEN REASONS WHY IT’S BAD PLANNING
Perth now effectively extends to Two Rocks. It should stop there and there should be a green buffer up to Guilderton to limit Perth’s urban sprawl northwards.
The Minister’s decision flies in the face of State Planning Policy 1, which stresses the importance of “facilitating the efficient use of existing urban infrastructure and human services and preventing development in areas which are not well serviced,”
No economic hinterland exists, or is planned, which would support a township of 6,000 residents. This makes the whole proposal artificial, repeating the mistake of Two Rocks 40 years ago, which proved costly to support in terms of services and vulnerable to the social problems.
Since the 60s this Estuary has been a summer retreat for many wheat-belt farming families, who still come in large numbers for their summer holiday. The estuary is also visited by thousands of day-trippers due to its natural beauty and proximity to Perth. Suburbanising the locality with a development five times as large as the existing township will cause the loss of the very amenity which makes it so attractive.
The Gingin Coast Structure Plan, adopted by the West Australian Planning Commission after an exhaustive process of community consultation in 2006, designated the land as a “Recreation and tourist node investigation area” and required the land to be re-zoned back to “Rural”. The Minister’s announcement of June 09 turns this part of the Plan on its head without any further consultation whatever.
The creation of another township south of the river will do nothing to enhance the amenity of Guilderton. It will merely dilute the local authority’s resources further. (Guilderton has about 400 residential lots and a permanent population of about 100.)
From the planning studies which have been done there is no evidence of a present or future demand for residential land in the Shire of Gingin as would justify the approval of a plan to create a 2000 lot sub-division south of the Moore River.