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Group hopes visions a gem for town

THE Rubyvale Progress Association is "putting pressure on from the community up" as it seeks to shore up the future of its unique and iconic region.

President Peter Brown said the 15-year wait for residential land to be developed and released to the market had to end.

And after eight years had elapsed since an upgrade of the dangerous Sapphire-Rubyvale and Keilambete Rd intersection and flood-prone Policeman's Creek crossing was first mooted, Mr Brown said the association had finally taken matters into its own hands, producing a 3D vision of what the Rubyvale town centre could look like.

"We have been telling (the Central Highlands council) this is more than a safety and creek crossing situation, this is the chance to build a town centre for Rubyvale that makes it really accessible," Mr Brown said.

"We want to have an input because we don't want stainless steel and glass as a town centre, we want rocks and trees and to make it look like a community so it retains the unique character of the Sapphire Gemfields - so where' s the money to do it?

"The Sapphire Gemfields has been here long before the mining industry and will be here long after the mining industry."

The region is one of the Central Highlands' top three tourism attractions, along with the Fairbairn Dam and Carnarvon Gorge.

"You cannot replicate what we have anywhere else in the world," Mr Brown said.

He hoped a panel convened to discuss the region's accommodation crisis at the Central Highlands Development Corporation's Investing in Our Future forum, starting today, would consider the plight of available land on the Sapphire Gemfields.

The progress association submitted a question on guidance on how to get funding or form partnerships to develop residential lots.

A subdivision at Sapphire was slowly progressing through council, but one closer to Rubyvale has hit a snag with protected Brigalow stands discovered.

A community meeting will be held on Sunday at the Rubyvale Town Hall from 6pm where the town centre vision will be up for discussion.

The association will make its pitch to council at its Monday general meeting from 11am.


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