There were shocked and angry reactions from the public gallery when the City of Wanneroo approved a glamping tent proposal for the old Quinns Rocks caravan park site last Tuesday evening.
The special council meeting called to debate the item lasted for about four and a half hours as many residents spoke against the proposal – it was also the last attendance for North ward councillor Chris Baker who died suddenly on August 4
When the Mayor Linda Aitken called for councillors to record their vote the result was tied 7-7 so Mrs Aitken used her casting vote to get the controversial proposal over the line.
At the meeting Cr Baker and his fellow North ward councillor Sonet Coetzee were among those who said the glamping proposal would suit more northern areas such as Alkimos, Yanchep or Two Rocks.
At a July 15 council meeting last year former Wanneroo MLA Dianne Guise, who is also a former Wanneroo deputy mayor, said the council needed to consider the growth that had already taken place in the Quinns Rocks area and the further growth to come.
“They can’t ignore the demand for parking in the area,’’ she said.
Ms Guise said the council needed to face it was a popular regional beach – the shark net made it even more popular – and the overflow car park was already required.
“As discussed at a recent meeting why not have a Mullaloo beach style for this site – grassed area at the front, parking behind, all screened with protected Bush Forever.’’
Former Central West ward councillor Nat Sangalli, who suddenly resigned in April this year and former councillor Dot Newton, both of whom served as deputy mayors are also against the glamping proposal for the old caravan park site.
The June officer’s report said the proposal by proponent Russell Percival from Buckland Estate allowed for deluxe glamping tents, family tents, outpost tents, a licensed café open to the public for breakfast and lunch, a lawn area and an event space for community events, business meetings and family celebrations with the proposed development estimated to be worth $7.5 million to $8m.
Some residents at the June meeting were unhappy with the council only intending to undertake further due diligence once the company structure, shareholders and officers of the new company were known.
At the August 2 special council meeting a statement from Mr Percival said although they did not need to form the relevant companies until approvals had been granted they acknowledged the concern of members of the public and had formed the companies – Eco Tourism as trustee for the Quinns Resort Unit Trust – that would own and operate the venture.
The statement said all the shareholders were professional businessmen with not only successful companies in Perth but also associated with other resorts and management companies they were expanding throughout Australia.
Originally the proponent expressed concerns at the expression of interest stage that an expansion of the Quinns-Mindarie Surf Life Saving Club (QMSLSC) to include an outdoor decked area would affect guests in the nearby glamping tents but since then according to the city had modified their design to move the glamping accommodation further away from the QMSLSC premises, with the proposed café and function centre now closest to the surf club.
The former Quinns Rocks caravan park site, which is freehold and owned by the City of Wanneroo, is part of Bush Forever site 397, which encompasses the whole of Lot 211 (including cleared and developed areas).
Bush Forever site 397 is about 400ha and is located in the coastal strip from Wilbinga to Mindarie.
This article appeared on Yanchep News Online on 7 August 2023.