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In Godwin Beach QLD on “Material Change of Use -...” at 1 Esplanade, Godwin Beach QLD 4511:

David Schoch commented

MBRC Planners and Councillors,
My wife and I are residents on Esplanade, Godwin Beach. We were surprised and dismayed to receive notification via a non-government website that an application had been received by MBRC for “Material Change of Use – Development Permit for Nature Based Tourism”, ie a Caravan Park at 1 Esplanade, Godwin Beach. Please record our strong objection to this proposal.
We reside in a very small seaside community with no local commercial enterprises and restricted access in and out. Any such commercial development will have a major, and possibly negative impact on our quiet and relatively isolated environment.
Apparently, the proposed development is subject to Code Assessment and as such public notification does not need to be carried out, but as a matter of concern for and courtesy to the small local community a survey of local residents to assess their concern/support or otherwise for this proposal should be undertaken by the MBRC (through our local Councillor or Council representative) before this application is assessed.
While acknowledging and agreeing with all the points raised in previous comments we would like to add the following.
We have read all the documents submitted with this application, all of which have been prepared and paid for by the proposed developer to support the application. As individuals with limited knowledge of government rules and regulations it is difficult to argue against their findings but I would suggest the MRBC assessors closely check particularly Appendix A - Engineering Report and Appendix C – Ecological Assessment as the results warrant further confirmation. The Ecological assessment in particular admits it is a “desktop report” which “…. only represents a ’snapshot’ in time and may not provide a true indication of presence or absence of flora and fauna species within the study.” This is certainly true as kangaroos, reptiles and a multitude of both local and migratory birds frequent this area.
Under the MBRC Planning Scheme, the proposed development is defined as Nature Based Tourism. The applicant’s own DA Form 1 defines Nature Based Tourism as “The use of land or premises for a tourism activity, including tourist and visitor short-term accommodation, that is intended for the conservation, interpretation and appreciation of areas of environmental, cultural or heritage value, local ecosystem and attributes of the natural environment.” In other words, this proposal is attempting to be sold as a nature-based, eco-tourism project. Interesting that this terminology has been applied at this time to a campground which contains none of the characteristics referenced above (apart from the accommodation aspect}. The Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science states “Ecotourism encompasses nature-based activities that increase visitor appreciation and understanding of natural and cultural values. They are experiences that are managed to ensure they are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable, contributing to the wellbeing and conservation of the natural areas and local communities where they operate.” The World Tourism Organisation defines ecotourism as “… nature-based forms of tourism in which the main motivation of the tourists is the observation and appreciation of nature as well as the traditional cultures prevailing in natural areas an experience/activity that contains educational and interpretation features”. Again, none of these characteristics are covered in the applicant’s proposal and the development certainly does not contribute to the wellbeing and conservation of the local community.
We are concerned that this application may be “development by stealth” as the project is proposed to be staged ie, Stages 1 and 2 have been defined but how many other stages will follow? This entire proposal reminds me of the Joni Mitchell song, Big Yellow Taxi:

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

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