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Progress association reaffirms opposition to Kariong development

Residents and activists gathered on February 17 to protest the development.

FEBRUARY 27, 2023

Kariong Progress Association (KPA) has reaffirmed its opposition to a proposed development on Woy Woy Rd in the wake of a statement from Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council (DLALC) implying the association was on board with the project.

The statement said that a meeting between DLALC and KPA in December concerns had been addressed by both parties relating to the the Land Council’s proposed 70-house development on the the Kariong site, leading to a better mutual understanding.

“Many who oppose what we are trying to achieve for our people and the broader community with this site would not know of the excellent work of the Kariong Progress Association and DLALC with regards to progressing the proposal,” the statement said. But KPA say this is misinformation. “While the recent stakeholder meeting with DLALC was indeed open and frank, and KPA now has a better understanding of the objectives of the land council, KPA is most certainly not on board to help move the Kariong housing development proposal forward,” spokesperson Geoff Mitchell said. “Kariong Progress Association does not support the proposed development of Kariong Sacred Lands and calls for its continued protection for its ecological and cultural significance as well as its lack of suitability for a housing development.”

Mitchell said the overwhelming feedback received from KPA members and residents is that the proposed development, on the site known as Kariong Sacred Lands, is highly unsuitable for the estimated 70 houses planned.

He said the development would be a huge strain on already overused local services and resources, such as roads and water, the safety issues around fire hazards, increased litter, damage by domesticated pets to wildlife in bordering National Park, and the loss of habitat and natural bushland in a site currently zoned as E2, Environmental Conservation, by the NSW Government.

“This E2 zoning is the highest protection, outside of a National Park, due to its ‘ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic value’,” Mitchell said.

“As such KPA does not condone or understand how rezoning can be allowed to make way for a housing development, regardless of the developer.

“Woy Woy Rd is a council owned road and KPA has received confirmation from Central Coast Council it has no intention, or budget, to upgrade Woy Woy Rd, and (we) are extremely concerned for the consequences of the increased traffic flow.

“Woy Woy Rd is already congested during peak hours and the result of up to 140 more cars accessing the road is a safety, road overuse and congestion issue.”

Mitchell said the site, which is in a high-risk fire zone, was inappropriate for a suburban housing development.

He said KPA has also met with the local Traditional Owners of Kariong Sacred Lands, who present a strong opposition to the proposed development due to the cultural and environmental significance of the area.

With the overwhelming feedback from locals opposing the proposed development due to environmental, cultural, aesthetic, traffic, real estate and community health and safety reasons, KPA has joined calls for the NSW Government to permanently protect the land by maintaining its current E2 zoning or including it in Brisbane Water National Park, on which it borders, and compensate the Local Aboriginal Land Council accordingly.

Source: Central Coast News Media release, Feb 22 Kariong Progress Association

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