UNITED: Veronica Walter, Colleen Dodds, Nigel Pemberton, Therese Saad, Roger Down and Michelle Lynes have banded together in the Fight for Airlie group.
UNITED: Veronica Walter, Colleen Dodds, Nigel Pemberton, Therese Saad, Roger Down and Michelle Lynes have banded together in the Fight for Airlie group.

Group to fight draft plan

A NEWLY formed "Fight for Airlie" group is calling on the Whitsunday Regional Council to either stick to the zones and building heights of the current town plan or wait for the election in 2016 to present its replacement draft.

The group is against the council's proposed building height changes, which if passed would see high-rise buildings of four, eight and 12 storeys in parts of Airlie Beach.

Fight for Airlie spokesperson Corrie Gardner said the group also believed the council had failed to inform the community about its proposed changes in an appropriate and timely manner and felt there had been insufficient community engagement for councillors to make "value decisions" when voting on the planning scheme.

Fellow Fight for Airlie committee member Roger Down called the public meeting in Airlie Beach on September 24 an "instruction" rather than consultation or engagement and said at no time had the council asked the majority of ratepayers and residents for their feedback.

Mr Down said in his opinion "to say this is a proposed plan is a lie".

"It is a plan that requires only one council resolution to adopt and then a rubber stamp from the government to make it legislation," he said.

Mayor Jennifer Whitney denies that's the case.

"This is a proposed plan for consultation and that's what it's about - consulting to see what the broader majority of our community want," she said.

In the two weeks since the meeting at the PCYC about 1000 people have signed petitions against the draft, both on paper and online at change.org.

Cr Whitney said she now wanted the community to come forward with their comments and feedback and lodge an official submission with council.

"They've got to have suggestions on a way forward of what a solution is, because that's what's really needed," she said.

Mr Down said the Fight for Airlie group had engaged professional help to prepare a submission on the new draft planning scheme by the deadline of this Friday, October 16, and he encouraged others in the community to do the same. Those who would like to use a standard submission can find one on the group's website http://www.thinkairlie.com.

For more information go to http://www.fightforairlie.com or contact Michelle Lynes at mollycait2@bigpond.com or 0421 159 852.