NSW Greens MP and planning spokesperson Cate Faehrmann met with Councillor Alison Worthington, ex-councillor Pat McGinlay and a solid representation of concerned Dalmeny residents early this morning (July 15th, 2022) to hear of their concerns around the recent sale of Council land to developers. The Greens MP heard that Eurobodalla Council claimed, at the time of the sale of the 40ha that the land sale was required to assist in providing a solution to the housing shortage with one councillor at the time in tears as he voted for the sale saying that the there were young locals who were now returning to the region having been away for education and were unable to return to build a future and family as there was no land available. She was advised that others supported the sale of the land content that it had been earmarked for future development 30 years before and now needed to be sold in order to complete a triangle of development that could concurrently occur reducing costs to adjacent developers and fast tracking the opportunities for land availability. It was made clear that, at no point did any of the councillors who voted for the sale mention "affordable housing". The land has no conditions set that it must have a percentage of "affordable housing". With interest rates soaring and the availability of trades and materials scarce it is inevitable that anyone planning to build on the new subdivision will be building something well outside "affordable". Cate Faehrmann told the Dalmeny community who walked with her on the site "Threatened species in NSW like the Greater Glider, Swift Parrot and Glossy Black Cockatoo just can’t sustain any more clearing of their habitat, especially after so much of their habitat and populations were wiped out in the Black Summer fires.
“The idea of clearing 100 hectares of threatened species habitat in Dalmeny is bad enough, but when you add that to the dozens of other potential developments right along our coast, the consequences for our precious wildlife are going to be horrific if they all go ahead.
“With the Greater Glider listed as endangered at the federal level just this month, all potential clearing of their habitat must be reviewed, because what we are talking about is serious irreversible impact if the wholesale clearing of their habitat goes ahead.
“What’s going on up and down our NSW coast is criminal. I’m convinced that if most knew they’d be taking to the streets and I’m going to do everything I can to sound the alarm.
“Developers have been given free rein by this state government to bulldoze bushland and forests across the state, without any regard for the environmental destruction this is wreaking.
“The government is trying to guilt trip everyone into silence by saying we need to build more houses because of the housing crisis. What they fail to mention is that, according to the last census, 300,000 houses are vacant across NSW so it’s not a matter of supply.
“In fact, many of our coastal villages currently facing proposals for inappropriate development in ecologically sensitive bushland have vacancy rates of anywhere between 30 and 68%. The Government needs to look at ways to discourage houses sitting empty for wealthy Sydneysiders and Canberrans to holiday a few times a year and instead provide incentives for them to be rented or sold to those who want to live in the area.
“Another huge area of concern for local communities is the lack of services and infrastructure in the coastal villages that the developers are eyeing off. I’ve heard countless stories of GPs in the town, if there are any, having wait-lists of two months or closing their books entirely to new patients.
“Many of these areas now under threat are as a result of development approvals that are decades old. These so-called ‘zombie DAs’ are now rearing their ugly heads because the government has issued a decree for councils and developers to provide ‘shovel-ready land’ for housing developments. It’s outrageous that some of these are avoiding having to undertake any environmental impact or cultural heritage assessments entirely.
“I thank members of the Dalmeny community who met with me to brief me on their campaign and who showed me the extraordinary bushland, with its many massive hollow-bearing trees, they’re determined to protect. I stand with them and communities across the state who are fighting these developments and I commit to taking their concerns to the NSW Parliament and to doing everything I can to save their coastal villages and environment.