By Chris Thomson | posted on February 8, 2019
A COMMUNICATIONS strategy has been developed to sell the City of Albany’s response to the contentious approval by a powerful tribunal of a lime pit at Nullaki Peninsula.
A briefing note to City councillors seen by The Weekender says the strategy was developed ahead of a media statement released on January 14 by Acting Mayor Greg Stocks, and promotion of the City’s position on social media.
A letter was also sent to residents around the peninsula and the lime pit’s planned haulage route, people who made a submission on the pit, seven community groups and the Elleker General Store.
The letter, from City CEO Andrew Sharpe, says the City “is extremely surprised and disappointed” the State Administrative Tribunal decided to overturn the Council’s earlier unanimous refusal of the lime pit.
“… especially how an extractive industry was found to be consistent with orderly and proper planning, in particular meeting the objectives and provisions of the Conservation zoning,” the letter, dated January 21, continued.
The letter explains that the City separately progressed a scheme amendment that would have prohibited the lime pit, but the amendment was not endorsed by the Minister for Planning in time and so was given little weight in the Tribunal’s deliberations.
The briefing note, drafted by town planner Alex Bott, says all further correspondence with the public will accord with the communications strategy.
The lime pit approval was hailed by developer Graeme Robertson as a “win-win” for Great Southern farmers and for the environment with a maximum three hectares to be “temporarily” cleared instead of the 21 hectares he had originally planned.