Community urged to 'keep an open mind' over East Coast plans

Cambria Estate. Picture: Glamorgan Spring Bay Council
Cambria Estate. Picture: Glamorgan Spring Bay Council

The East Coast community is conflicted over a potential multimillion dollar development at Cambria Estate.

At the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council meeting on April 24, a planning scheme amendment was passed to alter zoning requirements allowing a development application to be submitted.

A 42-day community consultation period will take place to allow the community to have their say.

East Coast Tourism chief executive Ruth Dowty said the community needed to keep an open mind.

“Big developments such as these are always divisive,” she said.

“It sounds to me like there’s a lot more to it than what we realise.

“I think we’ve actually got to take a good step back and have a look at it.”

The development would include 139 villas and units at the Cambria Homestead, 161 units and villas along the river, an 80-unit health retreat, golf course, 20 accommodation units at the golf range, and a 150-room resort.

Ms Dowty said the community consultation period would be a good opportunity for the community to voice any concerns. 

“People can actually take a look at what’s in [the documents],” she said.

“Does [the development] fit with what the place is all about? Does it bring value to the community and to the East Coast? Does it drive the economy?

“I don’t think we should be closed minded.

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“I think we need to understand all of those things before passing any kind of judgement.”

Ms Dowty said she was in a way flattered that developers believed in Tasmania and the East Coast enough to want to invest “to that level”.

“I think it’s an encouraging thing as a state and as a community,” she said.

“If you look back a few years, no one was coming near us and we were struggling.”

Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor Michael Kent said the development would be a huge investment in the region.

“It’s a $50 to $100 million project,” he said. “It’s unbelievable for that amount to be spent on the East Coast.”

“A number of people I’ve spoken to aren’t necessarily against the proposal, but they have concerns about various aspects of it.”

Freycinet Action Network coordinator Sophie Underwood said the development could have “far reaching negative ramifications”.

“It is very disappointing that the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council decided to initiate such a massive planning scheme amendment with the councillors only having four days’ notice to make an important decision,” she said.

Ms Dowty said the community needed to understand the proposal and development “a bit better”.

“We need to understand what it is, and what its impacts might be,” she said.

The draft planning scheme amendment can be viewed online or at the council offices at Triabunna.

Representations can be made to Glamorgan Spring Bay Council until June 14 at 5pm.