Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:56): Residents of the Whitsundays are fed up with not being listened to by their local council and the state government. This time we have had local Mayor Michael Brunker, his council and state Labor MP Jan Jarratt all pushing for a land swap on the Airlie Beach foreshore, against the community's wishes.
The proposed land swap is an unnecessary by-product of the very welcome redevelopment of the Airlie Beach main street. Part of that redevelopment, which could be relooked at, is a mainly aesthetic curved deviation in the road. This curve will not only be quite costly but will result in the resumption of a business, necessitating either compensation or a land swap for the business owner. The council has moved in favour of a land swap, suggesting public land on the Airlie foreshore be exchanged and a four-storey building be located on that bit of land.
Today the Whitsunday Times reports that Jan Jarratt is backing that proposal. Well, this flies in the face of community opposition to the plan. It is opposed by the Save Our Foreshore group and it is opposed by the Whitsunday Ratepayers Association, who conducted a survey showing that 86 per cent of respondents were opposed to the foreshore land swap.
Because this project has federal funding, I will be writing to the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government requesting he ensure council conducts a survey on the land swap and heeds that survey's results. After all, federal government funding for regional development should be used on projects which have the regional community's support. The people of the Whitsundays must be listened to.