Most local residents will be aware of the long-running campaign to get a pocket of privately owned land near Kariong incorporated into the surrounding Brisbane Waters National Park. Ordinarily, The Greens would be wary of supporting compulsory acquisition of private land, but in this case, as the background information shows, the current owners should have been aware that both Gosford Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service had earmarked the land for acquisition before they purchased. Moving the Bambara properties into the Park will improve bio-security for the area and increase the integrity of this important national park.
Before the 2011 election, Liberal candidate Chris Holstein promised to work towards securing the land, and was able to have a voluntary acquisition processed started in late 2011/early 2012 ABC INTERVIEW.
One large lot has been purchased since then, but four remain outstanding. The Greens campaigned for Council elections in 2012 on a platform of moving forward on this process. After over 2 years, we believe that it is time to wrap things up.
We are working on two fronts. Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi has asked questions of the Minister for the Environment about the status of the blocks, and the timetable to incorporate them into the National Park.
Gosford Greens Councillor Hillary Morris has lodged a notice of motion noting that Gosford Council has done all that it can to finalize the process, but after all this time, the Council should now ask the Minister to commence proceedings for the State Government to compulsorily acquire the properties. This will be debated at the Council meeting on July 8 LINK TO MEDIA RELEASE