13 June 2018
Glamorgan Spring Bay Council
Cambria Green Specific Area Plan proposal
Friends of the East Coast Inc. is opposed to the Cambria development and the processes by which the Glamorgan Spring Council is dealing with this proposed Special Area Plan (SAP).
Friends of the East Coast Inc. was set up in 2016 to inform the community on planning issues impacting on the East Coast of Tasmania.
We are opposed to the establishment of an internationally financed and managed elite tourist development at Swansea and environs.
We are opposed to the use of a Specific Area Plans (SAP) in this instance. This is a mechanism that bypasses community and local scrutiny by leaving out of the current planning documents critical details for the future developments in this area. The sole purpose of creating an SAP for the Cambria development is to bypass planning due processes. The SAP process is, therefore, not a good enough pathway for the community responsibilities held by the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council.
We assert this proposal will have many adverse impacts on the East Coast and ratepayers of your municipality. There may also be financial impacts on the State Government.
Friends of the East Coast Inc draws attention to the lack of information in the development documents particularly concerning water supply and sewerage. As quality town water is a premium on the East Coast we are surprised that the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council should even entertain the prospect that this development could link into the town water and sewerage systems. As the documents indicate this development is planned to be almost the size of the current town of Swansea we suspect that the current sewerage system could not accommodate this increase of sewage or water use unless a very large infrastructure expenditure was undertaken. Presumably the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council is expecting that such infrastructure would be paid for by the Tasmanian taxpayer and not by the developer.
The Masterplan, which can only be a guide to what may be eventual developments, makes no serious commitments to employment of local residents in the operations of the tourist precinct. The throwaway line that positions would be offered first to locals is not convincing. What can be expected is that significant numbers of staff will be appointed on 457 visas or equivalent because the locals don’t have adequate qualifications including language skills for the exclusive foreign clients.
Further, Friends of the East Coast Inc believes that staff of tourist developments should live and be accommodated in nearby towns, thereby providing economic benefit to the towns and community. The Cambria development will not provide these benefits.
Friends of the East Coast Inc is also concerned about the foreign ownership of this development. The 12 titles comprising the SAP area are owned by Hong Kong/Chinese connections. There appears no Australian financed ownership. Essentially a little more of Tasmania is being carved off to foreign ownership and control. If continued, we can envisage large sections of Tasmania’s coastline being occupied by stealth. Is this the legacy current Tasmanians wish to provide for the future? Similar elite, foreign client, tourist developments elsewhere, such as the coast of Vietnam, have led to a very unattractive scenario. We do not agree to this scenario and its adverse impacts on local communities.
More importantly, this development is proposed to target specific, exclusive international tourists, not local Tasmanians or Australian residents. The Cambria development will not be part of the broader Tasmanian culture, firstly because of language differences, and secondly, but more importantly, because of the use of a Specific Area Plan. This will help create a foreign area of cultural apartheid. Over time this will produce all kinds of local community problems that no one wants. Does the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council want to promote foreign cultural enclaves?
The Glamorgan Spring Bay Council should not have a policy of ‘development at any cost’, which is what this proposal embodies.