Council candidates grilled on issues

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser

Six Shire of Broome councillor candidates took part in a question and answer session last week when they were grilled on issues covering the economic future and prosperity of the town after the shelved James Price Point gas hub.

The Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry event was running relatively smoothly until the Local Planning Strategy and Scheme entered the agenda.

Sparks flew when Jenny Bloom said some people in the town were trying to catch people doing something wrong and "skulduggery" was apparent.

Robyn Wells then suggested the proposal was to turn a large slice of Old Broome into mixed use, meaning it would be open to commercial development like offices and shops, hotels and motels.

But Ms Bloom reacted angrily saying "that is just wrong".

She said she was concerned there was a lot of misinformation circulating around the town over the planning strategy and scheme. "People enjoying living on a large block can continue to do so," she said.

Harold Tracey said the essence of Old Broome had changed and now had major developments like The Oaks, hotels, motels, a caravan park and shopping centre.

He said the town needed to make better use of land to prevent urban sprawl. Mr Tracey said James Price Point had split the town and he wanted unification and progression.

Desiree Male said the town was "doing it hard" and she had clients who were closing their businesses and leaving Broome. She said a major removalist from Broome had told her for every one person moving into Broome, the company was moving four out.

Chris Maher joined the debate via a video hook-up from a passenger liner he and his wife Robyn were on as part of Skal, an international tourism industry association which has a branch in Broome. Mr Maher said he believed there was not enough consultation over the town planning strategy and scheme and said Broome must have a diversified economy.

Ms Wells said there were big opportunities for biofuel production across the Kimberley but did not elaborate.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails