Dear friends and supporters,
Our community are shocked and disturbed by a proposal for a new housing estate next to Bambara at Kariong!
Please read our friend Jake Cassar’s press release below, and consider writing to the emails provided to express your opposition to this unsustainable and destructive development.
And in case it doesn’t get a decent run in the media, PLEASE SHARE FAR AND WIDE!
PLEASE NOTE: This is only a preliminary letter. We will all need to officially object to this when submissions officially open.
See mini doco here and please join Coast Environmental Alliance (CEA) on Facebook
[PRESS RELEASE BY JAKE CASSAR)
Darkinjung Land Council Development Opposed
A proposed housing development by Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council (DLALC) is facing fierce opposition from community group, Coast Environmental Alliance (CEA), with the group branding the proposal as “disgraceful.”
CEA founder, Jake Cassar said “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what Darkinjung Land Council had planned for this extremely ecologically and culturally sensitive area at Kariong. They are planning to clear an area of largely untouched bushland on the side of Woy Woy Road to sustain a new housing development with 70 properties. And it all seems to be happening without any community consultation.”
“The proposed development is right next to the area known as Bambara, with the majority of the site being surrounded by National Park. This is the area that our community battled for years to have protected in the surrounding National Park. Bambara is officially protected and registered as “Kariong Sacred Lands”, due to it being an Aboriginal site of significance. The fact they DLALC is even considering developing this site is nothing short of disgraceful.”
“DLALC themselves nominated the area for declaration as an Aboriginal Place to ensure the recognition and protection as places of special significance to Aboriginal culture.”
Cassar said “The Bambara area is internationally famous. The controversial Kariong Egyptian style Hieroglyphs were featured on the History Chanel, and the area attracts thousands of tourists each year.”
Cassar said “If this were to go ahead it would come within 20 metres of known Aboriginal engraving sites. It could also potentially damage or destroy existing sites that have yet been discovered, and open up the entire landscape to damage and erosion from human and vehicular traffic.”
“We appreciate that DLALC has a focus on economic growth to benefit its members, and CEA certainly supports sustainable development, but with DLALC being the biggest private land owner on the Central Coast, surely there are other options for development that doesn’t include the potential destruction of irreplaceable engraving sites.”
“Both the Aboriginal and non Aboriginal community worked tirelessly side by side for many years to eventually have this area listed as a National Park, and after around a decade of community actions, we succeeded.”
“We also joined forces and were succesful in having the area listed as an official “Aboriginal Place” due to the significance of the overall cultural landscape, and the ongoing youth programs that are run in the area for both Indigenous and non Indigenous youth. These programs rely on the environment remaining pristine, and focus on teaching the youth valuable survival skills while building respect for the land.”
Cassar added “What kind of message would destroying this land for profit send to our local youth?”
“This part of Kariong is full of threatened flora and fauna, some of which include the Powerful Owl, the Spot-tailed Quoll, the Glossy Black Cockatoo, and is in the locality of known Koala Habitat. Another plant worth noting is the extremely rare Darwinia glaucaphylla that only occurs between Kariong and Calga. This is the only place in the world that this extremely rare ground-cover grows.”
“There is also endangered ecological plant communities known as “Hanging Swamps” in the area. These are listed as endangered due to the vital role they play in providing water to the overall landscape. If we allow these Hanging Swamps to be removed right next to Bambara, it would have a devastating impact on the overall ecology, including the local oyster industry in Brisbane Water.”
“In light of the recent destruction of the ancient cultural heritage sites by Rio Tinto in the Pilbara, our group is hoping we can work with DLALC to support world class sustainable development in our beautiful region, while ensuring that we protect our precious local bushland for the sake of future generations.”
“The State Government recently passed legislation that enables organisations such as DLALC to essentially bypass the democratic process, while ensuring that there is no clear avenue for the community to make a submission against environmentally destructive developments.”
Cassar said “The proposal is currently with the Central Coast and Hunter Planning Panel, and even some Government bureaucrats I have written to are unclear on how the community can have a say in this. CEA are concerned that this extremely sensitive area will be rezoned without the community having any say, and then when it is eventually put out for the public to make a submission, it will be approved due to the new zoning permitting the development.”
“CEA are appealing to the members of DLALC to support the protection of our local bushland, while promoting world class sustainable development that celebrates our wonderful environment and rich cultural heritage.”
“We are hoping the community will write to the State Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, and the Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, to ensure that our community gets a say in what happens in our local area.”
[END PRESS RELEASE]
Please copy and paste the below email addresses (either individually or together) into an email and write a short to medium length, to the point, polite and respectful email showing your opposition to this project.
A letter could look something like this (But it’s MUCH better in your own words):
To whom it may concern,
I strongly object to the proposed development by Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council at 300 Woy Woy Road, Lot 512 and 513 (512/-/dp727686), due to its impact on the environment and cultural heritage.
Would you mind letting me know my email was received and explaining what your plan is to support our community in protecting our local environment?
Please consider following up with a phone call, and if they don’t respond, keep respectfully but firmly pushing for their support.
Feel free to share the responses you receive from the contacts we provided on Coast Environmental Alliance on Facebook
Emails to copy and paste into “to” box to send
Please feel free to follow through with emails, phone calls and share this email throughout your networks!