“State of No-Go” by Gareth Parker, Sunday Times, March 31, 2019 page 17
We’ve got to do a better job at managing big development proposals.
Because the status quo is killing our reputation among investors at a time when jobs are sorely needed.
On Wednesday, WA’s Tourism Council complained that complicated government decision-making processes were preventing the development of new tourist attractions.
The council produced a list of 16 private sector projects, and on cue, the next day, one of them, three years in the planning was scuttled.
Lands Minister Ben Wyatt announced he didn’t think Tompkins Park in Alfred Cove was the best location for an artificial surf wave park. On that score he could be right.
But this isn’t about merits of this particular decision, it’s about a process that lets a proponent get three years and half-a-million dollars down the garden path before delivering a ‘no’ that looks like it was always going to be the final answer.
Too often this puts private sector proponents, public servants and elected people through the wringer for absolutely zero result.
The developer, Urbnsurf founder Andrew Ross, said in the same time he’s battled authorities here, in Melbourne he’s got a park almost approved and constructed, and set to open in six weeks.
This issue has bedevilled our ‘State that says no’ for decades and Mark ‘Jobs’ McGowan should make it a priority to fix it.