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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Shire to rethink tourism precincts

The Shire of Denmark is set to reassess the identification of nine tourism precincts outlined in the draft local planning strategy. Shire President Kingsley Gibson indicated that the Denmark Shire Council will likely make a decision on this matter during the upcoming April ordinary meeting. However, Gibson emphasized that this recommendation from the local planning strategy working group must be approved by the council, with the final decision resting with them.

The designation of these nine tourism precincts may potentially be substituted by an alternative approach, which would require further elaboration by the council. Previously, in the 2011 Local Planning Strategy (LPS), the entire shire was open to potential tourism development, subject to specific criteria that developers needed to meet. This was done without specific delineations on a map indicating permissible and restricted areas.

Beyond the focus on tourism precincts, other considerations are being taken into account following feedback on the draft LPS. The LPS working group has been responsive to input from the Denmark Sustainable Tourism Action Group, tourism operators, and businesses. Some tourism businesses currently operate outside the designated precincts, prompting concerns about their status in relation to this matter.

The aim is to devise a solution that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders involved. If approved at the April meeting, the draft LPS will be forwarded to the WA Planning Commission for review. Gibson emphasized the meticulousness of the process, with the WAPC scrutinizing the document and returning it for reconsideration if any concerns arise. Ultimately, the WAPC holds the final authority.

“We are exploring alternative options to enhance the management and regulation of future tourism development,” stated Gibson. This includes ensuring that any future tourism endeavors adhere to the highest standards, encompassing environmental considerations, visual aesthetics, and other relevant factors.

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