,City appeals for Southgates

David SalvaireGeraldton Guardian
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn is calling on the State Government to reject an amendment which could see housing development on Southgates dunes.
Camera IconCity of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn is calling on the State Government to reject an amendment which could see housing development on Southgates dunes. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton

A land agreement that could have resulted in Southgates dunes being developed into housing has expired, leaving the future of the area in the hands of the State Government with a decision to be announced “shortly”.

The City of Greater Geraldton has strongly opposed any urbanisation of Southgates, with Mayor Shane Van Styn drafting a petition to Parliament earlier this year.

That petition has now been considered by an Upper House parliamentary committee which has presented the findings to the Minister for Planning Donna Faragher.

The issue began in 2005 after the then Shire of Greenough submitted a town planning scheme amendment to rezone 780ha of land at Southgates for residential development in a bid to stabilise the dunes.

Development group Bayform Holdings entered into an agreement with the State Government to develop the area.

That agreement has now expired meaning any further development can only be considered if the minister for planning approves the 2005 Shire of Greenough amendment. Ms Faragher said a decision would be made soon.

“The scheme amendment process is still under way and I anticipate making a final decision on the proposed reclassification of the land shortly,” she said.

“In doing so I will consider all relevant matters including the City of Greater Geraldton’s resolution on the proposal.”

In March, the City of Greater Geraldton Council voted to lobby the Government against any housing developments at Southgates.

Mr Van Styn called on the minister to scrap the amendment which he said threatened to destroy the dune system.

“If Southgates is converted into a housing estate the farmers won’t get their lime sand, the public won’t get their sand dunes and the northern beaches won’t get its sand,” Mr Van Styn said.

“We now return to calling on the minister for planning to reject the Shire of Greenough scheme amendment to convert Southgates into housing.”

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