Presentation by Guerilla Bay Association to Council Feb 27th 2018

My name is Mirabel FitzGerald and I reside at Guerilla Bay As President of the Guerilla Bay Association, I would like to register our ongoing concerns re the proposed changes to the Burrewarra Point Reserve, as outlined in the final draft ROSS proposal, Action Point N 29.

We would like to thank the Councillors and staff for their acknowledgment of our submissions on this proposal and for their considered and individual responses, including those who came to walk the Point.

The important alteration of the classification of Burrewarra Point Reserve from Open Space and Recreation to Bushland Reserve is a welcome development.

However there are major issues still to be resolved which refer to Action N 29 on p13 of the draft proposal.

These are:

  1. concerns that infrastructure may imply picnic tables and facilities

  2. designated walking trails that lead to a range of safe vantage points (built structures?)

  3. infrastructure designed to minimize off-trail access (possible fenced areas?)

Residents and Friends of the community, welcome your stated commitment to consultation.

I quote

“As a site with increasing popularity, Council must continue to work with the local community and Landcare to safeguard the natural significance of the site and to mitigate the impact of the growing number of visitors.”

(end quote)

We ask Council in the strongest possible terms to consult with us on any further modifications or management issues in the Bushland Reserve.

We are seeking explicit definitions of low impact outcomes and also asking for guaranteed consultation with the resident community through the Association.

Many of the properties in Guerilla Bay have been owned by the same families for two generations, with the upcoming third generation being as proactive in protecting this unique and pristine ‘jewel’ of the south coast as their grandparents were before them.

Twenty five years ago the residents, many of whom are still living at, or regularly visiting Guerilla, campaigned strenuously to protect the old growth banksia and eucalypt forest on Burrewarra Point resulting in it being listed on the Register of the National Estate as a significant heritage site on 22/06/1993.

The Point is also subject to an Aboriginal Land Claim.

The listing cites: (quote)

‘the diverse vegetation within the area provides an important habitat for coastal, breeding and migratory bird populations including 18 species which are listed in Schedule Twelve (endangered fauna) of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Act’. (end quote)

This listing is of benefit to not only the residents but to the many visitors, including birdwatchers, who come specifically to enjoy the pristine nature of the headland in its existing state.

In this environment there is no clutter, no infrastructure, few signs of human intervention, just a sense of being in a wild place looking out at wild places, along a coastline billed and promoted as the Nature Coast.

It perfectly reflects Eurobodalla Tourisms current claim, “Eurobodalla is the Australia of our childhood, relaxed and uncomplicated.”

There are plenty of places along this coast where people can drive to a lookout and a picnic table, but the coastal places where they can appreciate these unspoiled natural values in the same way that we and generations before us have, are diminishing by the day.

The existing low-key, foot-worn tracks maintained by the Guerilla Bay Landcare Group, provide adequate access to the headland while maintaining its aesthetic appeal.

We believe that any further infrastructure would compromise the integrity of the area. This is a widely held opinion as Council is no doubt aware, due to the large number of submissions you have received.

We urge you to continue with the existing management approaches undertaken in the Burrewarra Point Reserve, as we do not support the upgrade of tracks, provision of viewing platforms or other infrastructure.

We believe the primary focus of the Burrewarra Point should always remain Conservation.

Guerilla Bay Association:

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