THE final version of what will happen to the land occupied by Alcoa’s Anglesea mine and power station is still being prepared, but Liberal Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay wants the plan to be made public as soon as possible.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has been running the Anglesea Futures project since 2015, and exhibited a draft version of its Land Use Plan earlier this year.
Some of the draft plan’s proposals have been highly contentious in the community, particularly relocating the Anglesea Bike Park and using the land for housing and tourist accommodation.
In a statement last week, Mr Ramsay said he and his parliamentary colleagues had met with Alcoa directors to see the company’s Freehold Concept Plan (which has been submitted to Anglesea Futures), and that he had asked Planning Minister Richard Wynne to ask DELWP when the Land Use Plan would be made public.
“To provide confidence to a close-knit Anglesea community, it is important that the government provides the final conceptual plan for this area and allows the community some rational debate on the merits of the plan, rather than the fairly loose and wild observations that are getting media attention,” he said.
Some members of the Anglesea community have taken exception to Mr Ramsay’s use of the phrase “fairly loose and wild observations” and criticised him about it on social media.
In response, Mr Ramsay said he was referring to interest groups and individuals who wanted no development on Alcoa’s land at all or for it to be solely used for environmental purposes, as well as those whose attitude was “this is the bike track and it’s always going to be the bike track” and had not considered that a new and bigger bike track built on Crown land elsewhere could be better.
He said that Labor could be going slow on putting out the final Land Use Plan.
“My gut feel is that the government will find it’s too sensitive and won’t release it before the election.
“But at the end of the day, it’s not my call; it’s the government’s call.”