Save Spring Gully

Angophora woodland, Spring Gully, Bundeena

Hundreds of trees to be cleared from threatened species habitat in the Royal National Park for a proposed “Eco-Lodge”.

Eastern Pygmy possum habitat to be cleared for eco-resort in the Royal National Park!

Eastern pygmy possum habitat to be cleared for eco-resort in the Royal National Park!


Australia’s oldest national park or a developers’ gateway for greenfield land clearing?

Land and Environment Court, On-Site Visit

9:30am Monday 13 February 2017.

All residents and and those concerned about the proposed clearing of many hundreds of trees within threatened species habitat are entitled to attend the Land and Environment Court On-Site Visit.

Meet at the entrance to the Coast Track adjacent to no 71 Beachcomber Ave
(near corner of Eric St).

Your peaceful and respectful attendance is welcome.

The hearing into the applicant’s appeals against development refusal for a recreation camp and road will continue at the Land and Environment Court, 225 Macquarie St, Sydney until 17 February 2017.

Parties: RVA Australia Pty Ltd v Sutherland Shire Council.

More info about the development proposal.

Razors Edge Story on Spring Gully

On 02 June 2016, Razors Edge, the current affairs program on 2SER 107.3FM featured a story on the controversial Eco-Lodge proposal for the former Scout land, Spring Gully, Bundeena.

Courtesy of Cheyne Anderson and 2SER 107.3FM

Amended Development Applications on Public Exhibition

There is still time to lodge your objection before the matter returns to the Land and Environment Court.

Lodge your objection now using our web form. It takes two minutes. Your submission will make a difference!

Land and Environment Court Appeals,
RVA Australia Pty Ltd v Sutherland Shire Council.

DA14/1238 Former Scout land, Royal National Park, Bundeena &
DA14/1239 unmade paper road bushland, Royal National Park, Bundeena.

  • Over 1,000 trees to be cleared,
  • of which 366  are currently under the protection of a tree preservation order.
  • 55 hollow bearing trees to be cleared from Eastern Pygmy possum habitat.
  • 39 of the most significant trees to have 70% canopy removed  (including 16 hollow bearing).
  • All ground cover, understory, shrubs to be cleared from an area the size of 12 residential blocks and the canopy to be cleared to a maximum 15% cover.


Don’t spoil the Royal!

No new road through the Royal National Park

It’s time to call on the Minister for the Environment to stop the madness of the proposed clearing of over 1,000 trees from the former Scout land inside the Royal National Park at Spring Gully, Bundeena.

It’s time for the Minister to refuse the proposal for a new road at the entrance to the Royal Coast Track that will directly impact upon threatened species habitat and endangered ecological communities.

In June 2015, the Rural Fire Service provided approval for a two lane 8m wide road plus road shoulders through the Royal National Park to service the proposed “eco-lodge” development in Spring Gully.

Send your message to Mark Speakman MP, Minister for the Environment now. It takes just two minutes using our web form.

It’s time for the Minister to uphold the public interest and act to protect the world’s oldest purpose dedicated National Park from the clearing of over 1,000 trees under the guise of “eco-tourism”.

Send your message now. Stop the chop. Don’t spoil the Royal.

Most of these trees and thousands more are to be cleared on the former Scout land and within the Royal National Park for a proposed "recreation camp". Click to enlarge.

Most of these trees and many hundreds more are to be cleared on the former Scout land and within the Royal National Park for a proposed recreation camp.

The federal heritage listed Royal National Park is the world’s oldest purpose dedicated National Park. Upon dedication, in 1879, it was simply named “The National Park”. The “Royal” designation was added after the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1954. It is the birthplace of the National Park movement in Australia. If we can’t protect the Royal National Park and if we can’t protect threatened species and ecological communities within National Parks, what can we protect? (Note: Yellowstone, USA, was dedicated as a “public park” in 1872 and is often considered to be the oldest National Park in the world. The Royal National Park was the first park to be named as a National Park upon dedication.)


Public Rally, Spring Gully, Bundeena, August 2015. Man holding banner at the Spring Gully public rally. "No development in the Spring Gully environmental conservation zone".Spring Gully Supporters with David Shoebridge MP. Banner text "Save Spring Gully, Protect the Royal National Park", "No new road in the Royal National Park", "No land clearing in Spring Gully".David Shoebridge public forum
Photos: Public Rally with David Shoebridge, Greens NSW Spokesperson for Planning, Local Government & Emergency Services – Sunday 23 August 2015.

Scout land developer appeals to Land and Environment Court.

Sutherland Shire Council has refused consent for the development applications lodged over the former Scout land.

The applicant has lodged class 1 appeals to the Land and Environment Court seeking development consent.

Join our mailing list to receive updates on the proceedings.


Tree Vandals Strike Again

A substantial number of trees were destroyed and vandalised over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend on the Jibbon Hill relic cliff dune near the old “Night Soil Depot” at the south of Spring Gully, Bundeena. At least thirty trees have been snapped off their trunks near ground level. Others have had substantial limbs snapped off. Read more.

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More photos

Sutherland Shire Council Bushland Hand-over

sutherland shire council transfer to national parks

Spring Gully supporters celebrate Sutherland Shire Council’s decision to hand over 8.5 hectares of bushland at Bundeena for inclusion into the Royal National Park.

Sutherland Shire Council has resolved to hand over its 8.5 hectares of bushland and upland swamp at the south of Spring Gully to the NPWS for addition to the Royal National Park. Council has also resolved to transfer the unmade paper roads in Spring Gully adjoining the Royal National Park into the legal boundaries of the park.

The decision is a recognition of the high biodiversity and conservation value of the Jibbon Hill and Spring Gully area.

Congratulations  to all the supporters, local residents and others, who have persisted in seeing this public land remain conserved and added into the Royal National Park. Conservation of natural areas on urban fringes is not only vital to environmental health, but provides social and health benefits to the community through responsible enjoyment of nature.

Eastern Pygmy Possum

UPDATE: Mark Speakman MP, Minister for the Environment, announces dedication of the Jibbon Hill lands as an addition to the Royal National Park.

The geomorphology of the Jibbon Hill relic cliff dune defines the landscape and unique vegetation found at Spring Gully, making this landscape and its flora an important scientific justification for the world heritage nomination of the Royal National Park.

State Election 2015 Campaign

cabbage tree palmsThe conservation of Spring Gully is supported by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Sutherland Shire Council and the broad community. Key decisions such as zoning in the draft Local Environment Plan are in the hands of the NSW government and are imminent. Now is the time to seek a commitment from relevant Ministers and our local state member for the conservation of Spring Gully through the reservation of the former Scout land and Council’s land for addition to the Royal National Park.

Join our campaign here.

lace monitorWe have won important decisions such as E2 Environmental Conservation zoning in the draft local environment plan and Council’s recommendation for the conservation of all of Spring Gully due to the strength and persistence of community support and supporting scientific evidence. Please join our campaign to seek a commitment from the State government for the reservation of  Spring Gully for addition to the Royal National Park  using our simple web form.

UPDATE: Four candidates running for the local seat of Heathcote have provided position statements on Spring Gully. Read what your candidates have to say.

More details of the current status of Spring Gully.

Lodge your objection to the Development Proposal for massive clearing and tree destruction in Spring Gully

Use our online form to lodge your objection to the development proposal for the clearing of thousands of trees for an “eco-tourism” styled “recreation camp” on the former Scout land. It takes just one minute!

Over 1,500 trees to be cleared on former Scout land!

There are over 1,500 trees in the before drawing on the left that are missing from the after drawing on the right. Can you find them all? Read about the trick that has been used in the development application to hide the true extent of tree and canopy removal!

These drawings only show the trees in and around the proposed inner asset protection zone. Hundreds  more trees will be cleared in the outer asset protection zone not shown in these drawings.

You can read more analysis of the scale of tree removal and environmental impact of the proposed development here.

Trees in and nearby inner asset protection zone - before tree removal. Click to enlarge.

Trees in and nearby inner asset protection zone – before tree removal. Click to enlarge.

Trees in and nearby inner asset protection zone - after tree removal. Click to enlarge.

Trees in and nearby inner asset protection zone – after tree removal. Click to enlarge.


Development Applications lodged for former Scout land & Sussex St bush reserve.

Thousands of trees to be cleared for “eco-tourism” recreation camp.

thousands of trees to be cleared in spring gullyDevelopment Applications have been lodged for the former Scout land and clearing of the Sussex St road reserve bushland.  The development is for a “recreation camp” including facilities for tourist accommodation, the holding of functions, event conferences and training and a four bedroom residence. The development is being marketed as “Bundeena Coast Eco-Lodge”.

DA notice signs have been placed at the end of Beachcomber Ave and Bournemouth St.


(click to enlarge)

Preliminary observations are that thousands of trees are to be destroyed, across the east to west extent of the land. Over thirty mature angophoras will be severely pruned annually to leave only one quarter of their existing canopies. A vast area of the southern slope is to have its lower story cleared.

The DAs have been lodged under the existing zoning of LEP 2006 as a “recreation camp”. Although the developer requested “eco-tourism” zoning under the new LEP, the new LEP is currently with the Minister of Planning awaiting her approval. The developer has snuck in his DAs under the old zoning at one minute to midnight! The existing zoning allows developments that provide facilities for community benefit. I’ll leave it to you to decide what benefit the local community is going to gain from the “eco-friendly” destruction of hundreds of trees over several hectares of beautiful bushland.

On 10 November 2014 Sutherland Shire Council adopted the recommendation of the report into the LEP which states that the Scout land should be part of the Royal National Park. Council resolved at this meeting to lobby the state government to acquire the land for addition to the National Park. This report and its recommendations are currently with the Minister for Planning.

Each DA is about the thickness of a telephone book. DA14/1238 & DA14/1239. They are on display at Council or you can view them online using Council’s “track-it” web application.

We are working through the DAs in detail. We will provide further details and recommendations to residents soon (next week). Join our email list (right hand side of this page) to receive important updates. More frequent updates are posted to our facebook page:

Council recommends former Scout land be added to Royal National Park

Sutherland Shire Council has recommended the former Scout land be acquired for addition to the Royal National Park.

On 10 November 2014, Council resolved to write to local state and federal parliamentarians asking them to support the acquisition of the former Scout land by the state government for addition to the surrounding Royal National Park. Read more…

slideshow photos large (6)

The Sussex St (bush road reserve) Bloodwood Massacre


Click thumbnails for full size photos.

Full details at our facebook page.

Also see
Tree vandals strike near Spring Gully Bundeena development – The Leader 07/10/2014

Over 10 hectares of bushland and wetland under threat

aerial location truncated72dpi

Spring Gully, Bundeena – click to enlarge.
View in Google Maps.

The fight to save Spring Gully has now grown to over 10 hectares of bushland and wetland within the Royal National Park, Bundeena, right next to the world famous Coast Track, including:

  • Former Scout Land – 5.6 hectares of magnificent gully bushland and freshwater wetland. Sold to a developer by the Scouts Association in 2013 after refusing a community funded offer of purchase from the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.
  • The adjoining relic “paper roads” within the Royal, comprising bushland and wetland, traversing over cliffs, waterfalls and ravines. These roads are relics of the original 1886 subdivision and run through land that was added to the Royal in 1979 to celebrate it’s centenary – 6 hectares.
  • Council’s Jibbon Hill  bushland (including former night soil depot) – 8.5 hectares comprising two upland swamps, the Jibbon Hill relic cliff dune field and a site of scientifically significant flora was under threat of sale for development until the SSC agreed to a hand over to NPWS in 2015 after immense community lobbying. [Update: This land was dedicated as an addition the the Royal National Park in August 2015].

Our mission is to see all this ecologically valuable bushland and wetland added to the surrounding Royal National Park and conserved for the benefit of the entire community under the proposed World Heritage nomination for the Royal National Park.

The Royal National Park receives four million visitors per year and the Coast Track is the most popular walk in the park. The World Heritage nomination of the Royal National Park is a great opportunity that will benefit the local community including our walking tours, whale watching tours, existing bed and breakfasts, artist studios, cafes, clubs and shops. Development of Spring Gully and the huge asset protection zone clearings required will have direct negative impacts on the amenity of the coast track and pose serious threats to the Royal National Park and Bundeena wetland. Development of Spring Gully threatens the very qualities and values that support World Heritage nomination for the Park.

View a larger annotated, interactive map of Spring Gully in Google Maps.

Spring Gully Protection Group Video

Introductory video interview about Spring Gully Protection Group. December 2013.

Better Planning Network

The Spring Gully Protection Group is now an affiliated member of the Better Planning Network. The NSW planning reform bills that will limit community input on development decisions is now before the NSW Upper House. Visit the BPN website for more details.

Public Bushland Land Grab.

The former Scout land developer is attempting to purchase the Sussex St road reserve with the intention of clearing the bush and building on it and extending an asset protection zone onto the adjoining bushland currently under transfer to National Parks. Read more.

The 2 Minute Update

What’s going on in Spring Gully? This update will bring you up to speed with the latest status of the conservation issues in Spring Gully. Read more.

Scouts Sell to Private Developer!

It’s Official. Scouts have rejected the community offer to purchase for donation to the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife for conservation and addition to the Royal National Park. Scouts have announced a sale to a developer who plans to build “eco-tourism” accommodation.
More details…

About Spring Gully

The Spring Gully Protection Group is working to protect 5.6 hectares (14 acres) of pristine bushland in Spring Gully, Bundeena, on the southern outskirts of Sydney.

The property, formerly known as the “Boy Scouts’ Camp” borders the Royal National Park – the oldest dedicated National Park in the world. The land was gifted to the Boy Scouts Association of NSW in the 1960s. The land was recently sold by Scouts to a private developer.

The land contains an unbroken canopy of Angophora forest, Sydney sandstone gully forest, freshwater wetland, an ancient stand of bloodwood mallie and is an important habitat for many protected species and migratory birds.

Spring Gully contains many sites of significant aboriginal heritage.

Any development of this land will not only result in loss of habitat but will degrade the environmental surrounds of the Bundeena township and the adjoining Royal National Park forever.

Our aim is for the land to be added to the adjoining Royal National Park. All the other bushland in Spring Gully is either already in the Royal National Park or currently being transferred to National Parks. The former Scout land is the missing jewel in the crown and is now under threat of development.

  • Find out more about the land to learn why it is so important that it be conserved.
  • Read our detailed proposal for purchase which outlines the case for conservation.
  • Enjoy some photos of the stunningly beautiful bushland and freshwater wetland which cover the property.

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