Bambara 4 National Park – Rally 1 September 2014 – Justine Suthers

Justine Suthers

Over the years the Central Coast Greens have become more and more involved on the fight for the protection of Bambara

Several years ago, Greens councillor Peter Freewater moved in council for compulsory acquisition, but as the voluntary acquisition process had just begun, Central Coast Greens  took the view then that we should give the voluntary process enough time to see if it could work.

Well, after a few more years, that time has run out and as you know Greens Councillor Hillary Morris has now moved in Council to close off the voluntary acquisition process and get the state government to compulsorily acquire the property.

But due to the CEO Paul Anderson’s advice, which we (The Central Coast Greens) dispute, that the State does not have the powers to use compulsory acquisition to obtain land for a national park, the councillors were not sure of the legalities of this option and as a result Hillary’s motion was defeated. Given that land in Bouddhi National Park was obtained by the state using compulsory acquisition powers, we are determined to obtain unequivocal advice that the state can do this if the Minister for the Environment wants to.

As a rule the Greens normally wouldn’t support a compulsory acquisition process at it encourages property developers to just hold out for the best price. This holds the community to ransom and we really shouldn’t be paying over market value because of poor investment decisions.

But in this case the fight for Bambara has gone on long enough and it comes down to being the state government’s responsibility to purchase this land, and also the promise made by Chris Holstein on the run up to the state election. This is why we were all there today.

What personally scares me about leaving the voluntary acquisition process still open, is that while the most recent attempt to develop the land failed was stopped in the Land and Environment Court,  it’s entirely possible that with changes in law and regulations in the future, a development application could succeed, and this unique and special land would be lost forever.

On behalf of the Central Coast Greens we call on Mr Holstein to do the honourable thing and move Bambara into the National park before the next state election through the compulsory acquisition process.

Note: In concert with Jake Casser. local independent, the Central Coast Greens were instrumental in stopping council using the road verge in front of Bambara for a temporary works depot. We are hopeful that the state government will come to its senses regarding compulsory acquisition and transfer the outstanding properties into the national park before the next state election. To read more about Bambara please CLICK HERE


 Photos from the rally 01/09/14

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