Scenic Amenity Study

Whitsunday Regional Council has commissioned a scenic amenity study for the region and has engaged consultants Cardno to map and assess the scenic values and varied landscape character using a standard state-wide method, which will help identify the features of importance to our community. As part of this, Cardno seeks community participation to help rank their scenic preferences of the region.

The Whitsunday region is renowned for its spectacular scenery and its diversity of natural, coastal and rural landscapes. The scenic values of these landscape types require mapping, with input from the regional community regarding people's preferences for various combinations of landscape features, visual elements and levels of development.

method assessing scenic amenity

The assessment of scenic amenity will be undertaken using the Scenic Amenity Method in the South East Queensland Regional Plan "Implementation Guideline No 8', Identifying and protecting scenic amenity values", which is now being used widely in Queensland. This method maps 'scenic amenity' as a GIS combination of Visual Exposure (ie. visibility from roads and public places, based on topography) and Scenic Preference (community-based ratings of public preferences, assessed in survey sessions which rank selected photographs) and is a useful tool for planning in the region.

scenic preference surveys

Participants interested in the scenic preference surveys will have the choice of participating either online or as part of organised Landscape Assessment sessions throughout the region (see schedule below). Although online participants are welcome to attend the Landscape Assessment sessions and participate in discussion, they will still need to register and may only vote once. Contact Tania Metcher (Cardno) or Jonathan Cutting (Council) for any questions, or to register your interest.

Option 1 - Landscape assessment sessions

The Landscape Assessment sessions will take approximately 2 hours and will be offered in Airlie Beach, Bowen, Collinsville and Proserpine over 2 days in early November (9th-10th). The following sessions are offered:
Wednesday 9 November 2016
Proserpine  Proserpine Entertainment Centre  12.00 pm - 2.00pm
Airlie Beach  Airlie Beach PCYC  5.30pm - 7.30pm

Thursday 10 November 2016  
Collinsville  Collinsville Community Centre  1.00pm - 3.00pm
Bowen  Bowen PCYC  5.30pm - 7.30pm
option 2 - online survey

An option to participate in the online survey of scenic preferences is also offered by registering your interest here this portal will be open until 21st November 2016.

On behalf of Council, Cardno seeks participants for these surveys.

Each Landscape Assessment session will involve a number of participants, selected from those who register their interest, in order to consult a representative sample of the regional community. Participants will be given a number, and asked to fill in some demographic details, but survey analysis will not identify names or addresses, in order to protect privacy.

The consultants have taken many photos of natural, rural and coastal scenery in the Whitsunday Region, plus urban areas, and selected 48 of these for assessment, in two sets of each 24 photos. Set A photos include a similar range of scenes to Set B.  At each survey session, participants will be divided into two groups (A and B) and will be given 1 set of high resolution 6" x 4" photos.

You (the participant) will be asked to:

1. Compare the 24 photos in your set and rank them on a scale of 1 (least liked) to 10 (most liked), by entering the photo code numbers on page 1 of the survey form, ensuring that there is at least on photo rated "1" and at least one photo rated "10", and that there are no more than 5 photos with the same ranking. You need to compare and shuffle the photos in order of your preference.

2. Give brief reasons for your selection (why you like some scenes more than others) or general comments about groups of photos, using the space provided on the form or attaching a separate sheet (page 1 of survey form).

3. Fill in a section of the survey form regarding your age, postcode, education, and other information which will help us analyse community participation and responses (page 2 of survey form).

4. Participate in a short workshop discussion at the end of the session, to share responses to the photos, the reasons for preferring one scene over another, and ways in which the regional landscape could be planned and managed to enhance scenic values.

Following completion of the survey sessions, the ratings for each photo will then be related to the proportion of each landscape element (mountains, coast, buildings, cane etc) represented in each photograph, with overall ratings aggregated in a way which can be applied to a regional scenic preference map which reflects the scenic preferences of the Whitsunday community.

If you are interested in participating in any of these Landscape Assessment sessions, please register your interest either online through Your Say Whitsunday or by clicking 'register here' below and submitting the form by 7 November 2016 to:

Whitsunday Scenic Preference Survey


c/ - Tania Metcher
Level 11 Green Square North Tower
515 St Pauls Terrace
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 
Rose bay
  1. P  07 4945 0200

    67 Herbert Street, Bowen
    Cnr. Stanley and Conway Streets, Collinsville
    83-85 Main Street, Proserpine
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