The historic ghost town of Cossack could soon see a distillery, art gallery and caravan park developed as yet another plan progresses for the former pearling outpost now defined by a four-decade history of failed visions. At last week’s council meeting, City of Karratha councillors approved a motion to amend the local planning scheme which would see a special control area and special use zones introduced. This would allow the consideration of low impact tourism developments, including a brewery, art gallery, caravan park and market, and address historic conservation, bushfire and coastal hazard issues. In December 2017, council adopted a proposed scheme amendment to remove the requirements of power, water and sewer connections. This was knocked back by the WA Planning Commission in September 2019 due to inconsistencies with State planning policies relating to coastal and bushfire hazards and water, sewer and heritage conservation concerns. The scheme amendments would apply to crown lands, not private lands, due to the locations being identified as coastal hazards. City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said it was important to activate Cossack because it was what the community wanted. “People love going out there, we think it’s got a lot of tourist opportunities and it’s just good for our community,” he said. “There’s been proposals for a distillery, all sorts of things, and you can imagine if there was a distillery there selling Cossack rum. “It’s lovely to have a place like that where you can go and sit down, maybe have a bit more of a meal than you can now.” Cossack landowner Allan Wilson said he was hopeful but did not want to get excited. “It looks good now but we’ve had so many times in the past where it looked like the development was going to go ahead and it’s fallen over. “It’ll be interesting to see just how thing’s develop over the next six or 12 months.” Geoff Van Waardenberg, another landowner, said activating Cossack was the only way to keep it sustainable. “If these proposed changes allow a way forward for Cossack to become somewhat self-supporting, it will hopefully go some way to breaking this 40 year-long coming and going of failed plan after plan and allow Cossack to breathe into a living town again,” he said. The proposed scheme amendments will be advertised for public comment and all submissions will be presented back to council.