Status Update – State Election 2015

Former Scout Land – 5.6 hectares of bushland and wetland.

Sutherland Shire Council recommends the former Scout land be acquired for addition to the Royal National Park. Council states there is little prospect for development without causing unacceptable environmental impacts. The Mayor has written to local members of parliament seeking their support for the land to be placed on the Land Reservation Acquisition Map in the Local Environment Plan which is awaiting approval by the Department of Planning and the Minister.

  • The land is zoned E2 Environmental Conservation in the draft local environment plan.
  • The owner wants Eco-tourist facilities as a permissible use.
  • The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage object to eco-tourism facilities as a permissible use because of incompatibility of the biodiversity value of the land and the large-scale tree clearing for bushfire protection required for development.
  • The NSW Rural Fire Service have raised concerns with Council. The local RFS brigade unanimously oppose development on operational safety grounds.
  • The developer has lodged development applications, under the existing zoning, requiring massive scale tree removal (thousands of trees) and degradation over 3.6 hectares of land for a “low-impact” “eco-lodge”.
  • Council has received 1,200 objections to the development applications from local residents, public figures, academic institutions and community groups.

Jibbon Hill Lands (including former night soil depot) – 8.5 hectares of upland swamp and bushland.

  • Sutherland Shire Council has resolved to hand over this land for addition to the Royal National Park, as well as all the unmade “paper” roads.
  • This land shares many of the high conservation values found on the former Scout land, including the dense bloodwood woodland which is habitat for sugar gliders and ring-tail possums.

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.

Conservation of Spring Gully is in the hands of the NSW government.

The zoning of the former Scout land and Council’s request for it to be reserved for acquisition for addition to the Royal National Park are decisions now before Pru Goward, NSW Minister for Planning. The decision to add Council’s former night soil depot bushland to the Royal National Park is in the hands of Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for the Environment and Heritage.

The NSW state election will be held on Saturday 28 March 2015. The Sutherland Shire Local Environment Plan is with the Department of Planning for determination. Now is the time to ask the relevant ministers and the local MP to commit to the conservation of Spring Gully.

UPDATE: The Sutherland Shire Local Environment Plan 2015 commenced on 27 July 2015. The former Scout land is zoned E2 Environmental Conservation with eco-tourist facilities as a permissible use. The NSW government did not implement the recommendation of Sutherland Shire Council that the land be placed on the land reservation acquisition map for purchase and addition to the Royal National Park. The NSW government did not follow the advice of its own Office of Environment and Heritage that eco-tourist facilities are not appropriate for this land. The NSW Government did not heed the warning from the NSW Rural Fire Service concerning bush fire danger.

The owner of the land lodged development applications under the previous zoning in November 2014. The proposals were refused by Sutherland Shire Council and they are now the subject of an appeal to the Land and Environment Court. Read more about the development proposal.

The development proposal requires the construction of a new road through the Royal National Park!

Conservation of this land remains in the hands of the NSW Minister for the Environment.

The state election 2015 campaign has ended. The information below is retained for archival purposes only.

Text of letter emailed to Pru Goward, Minister for Planning:

The Hon. Pru Goward MP
Minister for Planning
52 Martin Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000

[date]

Dear Minister Goward

I support:

  • Sutherland Shire Council’s recommendation that the former Scout land, Spring Gully, Bundeena be acquired for addition to the Royal National Park and their request that the land be placed on the land reservation acquisition map in the Local Environment Plan currently being finalised by your department.
  • The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage recommendation that “eco-tourism facilities” be removed as a permissible use for this highly ecologically valuable, bio-diverse, riparian land.
  • Council’s offer of 8.5 hectares of adjoining bushland and upland swamp for addition to the Royal National Park.

Can you please advise whether these recommendations will be adopted in the local environment plan? After exhibition of three drafts and an independent review, I request to know the government’s plans for the future of these lands prior to the upcoming State election.

[your additional comments (optional)]

[Your name]
[Your address]
[Your phone number (optional)]

Cc:
The Hon. Rob Stokes MP
Minister for the Environment & Heritage
Assistant Minister for Planning.

The Hon. Lee Evans MP
Member for Heathcote.

Cr Kent Johns, Mayor
Sutherland Shire Council.

Text of letter emailed to Rob Stokes, Minister for the Environment & Lee Evans, Member for Heathcote.

The Hon. Rob Stokes MP
Minister for the Environment & Heritage
Assistant Minister for Planning.

The Hon. Lee Evans MP
Member for Heathcote.

Dear Sirs

Please find below a copy of my email to the Minister for Planning supporting Sutherland Shire Council’s recommendations for the conservation of Spring Gully, Bundeena.

Do you support Sutherland Shire Mayor Kent Johns request for the conservation of these lands and can you please advise whether the recommendations of Sutherland Shire Council and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage concerning the former Scout land will be adopted?

[Your name]
[Your address]
[Your phone number (optional)]

[Copy of email to Pru Goward follows.]

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