22 Aug 2013
Royalties for Regions Funds Exmouth's New Direction
The Shire of Exmouth was successful in obtaining funding for preparing a new planning strategy and local planning scheme through the Royalties for Regions program, driven by the Department of Regional Development.
Taylor Burrell Barnett and Terra Rosa Cultural Resource Management were selected as the preferred Tenderers for this exciting project and were brought on board in May 2013. The current Shire of Exmouth Town Planning Scheme No. 3 was gazetted on 3 September 1999 and has been subject to various scheme amendments; however this is the first opportunity to conduct a full-scale and thorough review.
Building on Prior Success
TBB and Terra Rosa work in many regional areas of Western Australia, and the Gascoyne is no strange land to our firms. TBB has previously worked for the Shire in preparing its Exmouth Townsite Structure Plan, which was finalised in 2011 and was seen as a precursor to the preparation of a local planning strategy and scheme review process. TBB, on behalf of DevelopmentWA (previously LandCorp), was also responsible for project planning for Exmouth’s only waterfront development – the Exmouth Marina Village. Terra Rosa has extensive experience in heritage management for both proponents and Aboriginal Land Councils and Corporations.
Putting the Community First
Exmouth’s promising future is all the more brighter through this opportunity to review its planning framework and preparing the new local planning scheme. The strategic direction for the Shire has emerged through its Strategic Community Plan 2011. The local planning strategy aims to draw on this Community Plan, together with further community consultation and participation in workshops.
Initial stakeholder meetings have begun in earnest, with the Shire and TBB working together for distributing approximately 1,600 letters to residents, ratepayers, utility providers and government agencies. On 18 June 2013, a Community Workshop was held at the Novotel Ningaloo Resort in Exmouth, host to 67 attendees – mostly local residents. The Workshop was busy yet highly productive with great feedback from an engaged community. Feedback has continued to be received from stakeholders that could not attend, which adds further value to the process.
TBB anticipates that the preparation of the Draft Local Planning Strategy and Local Planning Scheme No. 4 will occur towards the end of 2013, with further community engagement planned. The formal consideration of the documents by the Western Australian Planning Commission and Environmental Protection Authority is anticipated to be completed during early 2014. Formal advertising is aimed at commencing from April 2014 (when much of the town reopens for the tourism season). The ongoing engagement of the community will ensure these documents are robust and addressing the community’s views for the next ten years.
A Small Town with Big Promise
Exmouth may be a small town, however it is positioned in a highly strategic location from a US and Australian navy perspective. It is host to the Ningaloo World Heritage Area, Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Range National Park and its environment, culture and recreational opportunities prove popular with intrastate, interstate and international visitors. It is being considered for Horizon Power’s Living Laboratory Project for renewable energy initiatives. The Shire is focussing on long-term opportunities for diversifying the local economy.
TBB is excited to be back working for the Exmouth community and sees this as the step towards delivering a best-practice planning framework for the Shire.