After almost 50 years mining coal and generating electricity just north of Anglesea, Alcoa is preparing to leave town.
Alcoa’s departure will leave a big hole – literally and figuratively. The actual hole will naturally fill with water, but what about the land Alcoa’s leaving behind… what will that be filled with?
This is a big moment in our town’s history; what’s your vision for Anglesea after Alcoa?
Current Alcoa and State Government plans propose extensive commercial development on Alcoa freehold (privately owned) land.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Anglesea Futures plan proposes 13 Hectares (32 acres) of Residential, 4 Tourist Accommodation and 4 Tourism developments and a number of Retail and Other Commercial developments. The plan also proposes a ‘Major Tourist Attraction’, modelled on the Eden Project in England.
Alcoa’s proposals are similar but also include a ‘Wellness Centre’ and retention of the existing smokestack for use as a lookout.
DELWP proposes mostly conservation and recreation uses for Crown land (public land).
Land uses ‘liked’ and ‘not liked’
In mid 2017 DELWP ran a survey to determine which land uses were ‘liked’ and ‘not liked’ by the community. The graph that DELWP produced was this:
The plans propose several land uses ‘not liked’ by the community, including:
- Commercial Activities (4.7% liked/64.3%not liked)
- Tourist Accommodation (6.2% liked/45.7% not liked)
- Residential (2.3% liked/76% not liked)
On the other hand, some of the land uses most ‘liked’ by the community, like ‘Renewable Energy Generation’, barely feature in DELWP and Alcoa’s plans. Why?
How are DELWP and Alcoa’s proposals justified?
Alcoa’s departure offers opportunities to do things with the land, but the wrong kinds of land use could do more harm than good.
We can see that the current plans don’t align with some community preferences. Are they based on rigorous analysis of risks and benefits? What other factors or stakeholders are driving the plans?
- A ‘Major Tourist Attraction’ is proposed, but that could be expected to send around 500 cars and 10 buses per day down Camp Road, past the school and houses. Is that a good idea?
- The plans aim to “promote development”, but Anglesea’s a small town with a healthy economy and low unemployment. Why promote development? What are the pros and cons?
What about the town itself?
The current plans focus on land Alcoa will vacate. But what about Anglesea? If public money is being spent, is it better spent in the Anglesea Futures area or in town? We need a plan that looks at the whole town, including Alcoa land, and the whole town’s needs.
The Anglesea Structure Plan (Surf Coast Shire Council, 2012) does exactly that. It takes a holistic view and emphasises Anglesea’s unique characteristics and the importance of preserving and celebrating them. It was developed in partnership with the community. Maybe we just need a new Structure Plan that includes Alcoa land?
What do you think?
What’s your perspective on these issues?
What do you think of the Anglesea Futures and Alcoa plans?
You can share your views by commenting on this website, tweeting or emailing people you are depending on to represent you from the resources page here.
Another thing you can do is chat to your family, friends and neighbours and tell them about this website.