Archive for March, 2010

the Portofino option

March 25, 2010

History at Goolawah Estate

Portofino is a DA proposed across the road at the bottom Killuke Mt onthe northern side and is mostly cleared land. IF we have to have more houses in Crescent then this is preferred as long as they don’t try to cut  down trees up the slope in Maria River Regional Crown reserve for their  Asset Protection Zone (APZ) for fire protection..

The following is an extract from the report to Council at its meeting  of 12 August 2008 in relation to the Strategic Planning Program. The  expected lot yield from the (Portifino) expansion is 111 to 150 lots    which is very much a preliminary estimate and is subject to completion of detailed studies.

Crescent Head Expansion

The Lands Office has agreed to Council acquiring land to provide road access and the applicant has been in regular contact to progress this proposal. Council resolved to prepare this LEP in August 2003, and a number of circumstances have changed since that time, including the previous advice of the Department of Lands not to proceed with the development of stages III to V of the Goolawah Estate at that time.

The draft LEP was referred to the LEP Review Panel, whereby the Panel advised of its refusal to authorise exhibition of the plan as the rezoningwould “leap frog” other areas proposed for development.

A letter requesting the Department of Land’s intentions in respect to the Goolawah Estate was forwarded in November 2006.

The Department subsequently confirmed that they no longer wish to  proceed with subdivision of stages III to V.

Investigations into the possibility of “down zoning” the land to Environmental Protection and the feasibility of rezoning land further tothe south progressed and advice was received from the Department of Planning that they would be prepared to consider the rezoning request, subject to the land being included in a revised Residential Land Release Strategy and the Goolawah Estate being rezoned to Environmental Protection.

The Department of Lands was advised of the intended course of action in September 2007 to ensure they had no objections.

The Department of Lands has now advised that rezoning the land to Environmental Protection “…would be both premature and not appropriate at this time.” pending finalisation of a Native Title claim. The Department of Land’s advice was conveyed to the Department of Planning seeking confirmation that the draft LEP may proceed in light of the objection from the Department of Lands.

By letter of 8th March 2008, the Department of Planning formally requested the Department of Lands to withdraw their objection.

 Progress since May 2008: By letter of 11th June 2008, the Department of Planning advised Council that the draft LEP may now proceed without the inclusion of the down zoning of Goolawah Estate Stages III to V.

It will now be necessary to call for EOIs to prepare a Local Environmental Study for the land. If the developer wishes Council to assign this project a high priority, it will be necessary to seek their agreement to fund a consultant to manage the project on behalf of Council

help save Goolawah Estate forest

March 25, 2010

Dot points for letters re Goolawah Estate

  • Goolawah Estate Sections 3-5 (Stage 2) Crescent Head, NSW
  • The Taree Lands Department advised the public in 2008 that because of the Endangered Ecological Community (Swamp Sclerophyll Forest) the Government would not go ahead with the Stage 2 subdivision and the land was recommended for Environmental Conservation
  • With settlement of the Native Title Claim by the Dunghutti Nation the Minister for Lands, Mr Tony Kelly MP handed over $6.1M and then announced the subdivision would go ahead
  • Clearly there has been a lack of communication between Mr Kelly’s office, NSW Lands and Taree Lands.
  • Apart from the EEC the area to be clear felled has Core Koala Habitat, glossy black cockatoo habitat, threatened species of bats, black flying fox, ground and tree orchids, old growth grey gum and red gum with up to 10 hollows in a couple of trees,  Allocasuarina littoralis (Glossy black cockatoo food tree) and several different flora communities in a small high conservation value forest
  • The area should be incorporated within the new Goolawah National Park giving a corridor link from the Hastings River to the Macleay River through Limeburners Nature Reserve, Goolawah NP, Hat Head NP and the forest from Spencers Creek to New Entrance.
  • The Goolawah Estate forest gives a natural amenity within easy walking distance from the township of Crescent Head to Back Beach
  • It is 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the State Labor Government should not be planning to exterminate a local population of Koala in an area nominated for protection by the KSC draft CKPoM (Comprehensive  Koala Plan of Management)
  • There is land with a development application pending across the road on Killuke on mostly cleared land which can cater for the alleged chronic shortage of developable land and cleared rural land for several kilometres north of minimal agricultural value..

Goolawah Estate Contacts

The Macleay Argus

Michael O’Brien

Advisor to Tony Kelly MLC Minister for Planning

Minister for Infrastructure,Minister for Lands

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Leader of the House in the Legislative Council


Phone: (02) 9228 3999

Fax: 9228 3988

Sharon Armstrong

Tony Kelly, Private Secretary

Andrew Stoner Leader of the NSW Nats and member for Oxley

“Andrew Stoner” <>

Phone: 65626190

Fax: 65631355

Rob Oakeshott  MP     Independent Fed member for Lyne(which includes Crescent Head)

Phone: 65842911 (advisor)

Ian Cohen MLC Greens-north coast enviro etc

“Ian Cohen” <>

Phone: 9230 2204

                           Kempsey Shire councillors are not consent authority until DA

stage but you might want to tell them how you feel about things..

If you press Control and click on the links it should take you to the

contact details including email for your representatives.

Note that Cr Janet Hayes is on the koala advisory committee. (!)

Jenny Sproule is quite positive and lists ESD as her interest,

Betty Green also worked hard on the ESD committee and

Jimmy Gribbin is always against inappropriate development.

Dean Saul and Alan Snowsill helped with Plomer Rd but not

sure about this one.

                           Councillor John Bowell Mayor

                          Councillor Liz Campbell Deputy Mayor
                         Councillor Betty Green
                          Councillor Jim Gribbin
                        Councillor Janet Hayes
                         Councillor Dean Saul
                       Councillor Alan Snowsill
                        Councillor Jenny Sproule
                        Councillor Ellis Walker




March 22, 2010

John Jeayes writing on my blog.I am an environmental activist interested in local issues on the mid north coast of NSW, Australia, as well as state , national and world issues. My particular areas of involvement include biodiversity, marine, coastal development and of course the big picture , Climate Change and to some extent population growth.

I work with a couple of peak e-ngos, am a retired teacher and write a column “A green view” with my regional The Macleay Argus.

At the moment I am flat out campaigning to save a forest at Goolawah Estate Sects 3-5 which borders Crescent Head on the NSW Mid North Coast.

We thought we had won this one years ago but with the settlement of the Native Title Claim with an agreed $6.1 M the Minister for Lands,Planning and Infrastructure announced the subdivision would now go ahead.

My article below:

The money or the koala


16 Mar, 2010 08:40 AM

I WAS just appalled to read that Kempsey Shire mayor John Bowell could see economic and social benefits through houses being built at Goolawah Estate – but could see no environmental consequences.

The mayor listed the Recommendation Implications in a mayoral minute on the assessment of Minister Tony Kelly’s declared intention to develop Goolawah Estate Sects 3-5 (Stage 2). The Environmental Implication listed is ‘Nil’.

I thought it was obvious the mayor and the Environmental Services Department were fully aware of the previous intention to rezone the area to Environmental Protection.

Cr Bowell had expressed his belief to Mr Kelly’s advisor that he believed the subdivision was not to go ahead.

I worked on Council’s Ecologically Sustainable Development Policy for months but it was obviously a waste of time.

There was supposed to be a triple bottom line assessment of anything put up to council.

How on earth Cr Bowell’s mayoral minute proclaims there will be no environmental implications in clearing a forest containing an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) is beyond me.

Anyone who has read the reports by Kendall and Kendall and the Department of Lands’ own “threatened species” report would realise that in that forest there is an Endangered Ecological Community (Swamp Sclerophyll Forest), Core Koala Habitat, Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat and several threatened species of bats.

It just makes you wonder why Kempsey Shire Council continually publishes notices of its open and transparent public communication policy when not even the councillors are told there will be very serious environmental consequences to clearing a forest of any type, let alone this particular forest with such high conservation value.

Last time I wrote about KSC’s draft Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management and wrote about the fine qualities in some of the staff and consultants’ planning.

But what good is it to design all these wonderful policies if you don’t pay any attention to them in real life?

There will be environmental consequences in destroying this forest.

And this is not settled yet.

The Minister’s adviser was unaware (incredibly) of an earlier determination by Lands Taree that the area was never to be developed.

Similarly Lands Taree had no idea the Minister was about to announce the subdivision.

I have in my possession an assurance from Lands Taree that in 2008 the State Government was arguing the land was not going to be developed and cannot be developed due to the Endangered Ecological Community, and that irrespective of what happens with council’s zoning the next stage is dead.

However, it seems then that the Government had to settle the Dunghutti native title claim at the value of the original development application, and now they want to make their money back and then some.

If you were conservative and reckoned the 80 blocks would reach say $250,000 per block that is a nice $20 million to fill up part of the hole in Labor’s treasury. That might be too much temptation.

All that lovely rate money and developer contributions have also got our council salivating, no doubt.

This second stage of Goolawah Estate has some interesting history. It began with the lodgement by Mary Lou Buck of a native title claim on behalf of the Dunghutti for that land, and a stop on development after the Lands Department auctioned off Stage 1 Sections 1-2.

The claim was eventually settled in the Dunghutti’s favour.

Then ensued a court battle between the Dunghutti Elders and the Kempsey Land Council with the Elders eventually being declared by the court to be the rightful representatives of the traditional owners.

While this was going on Stage 2 just sat there doing its thing – growing its biodiversity.

The Lands Department originally commissioned an ecological consultant company called Wildthing which did an environmental study of the land known as Goolawah Estate Stage 2 sections 3-5.

Wildthing found there was no significant impediment to a subdivision of about 93 housing lots.

The Crescent Head Ratepayers and Residents Association considered that result outrageous and commissioned Kendall and Kendall to do an environmental report.

Kendalls found there was potential koala habitat, glossy black cockatoo habitat and the greater broad-nosed bat using the area.

So Lands then commissioned an ecologist, Ben Lewis, to do a “threatened species” study. There is no such named study but that is what they called it. Lewis confirmed Kendall and Kendall’s results and added sightings of koala to the list.

Later the Ratepayers proved core koala habitat with video, photos and a statutory declaration from a nearby resident of a female koala with a joey on her back crossing Baker Dve into the forest at Goolawah Estate.

After that the Taree Department of Lands threw up their hands and gave up any intention of going ahead with the development.

Lands advised KSC that they would not proceed, as stated by Robert Pitt in his report to Council on the August 12, 2008, and wished the council to rezone the land to Environmental Protection.

Lands agreed in compensation to consider rezoning land further to the south (presumably the proposed subdivision for the northern section of Killuke Mountain at the base).

Oh yes, for those carping on about the need for “jobs for our kids” and for 1000 more people in Crescent Head, there is cleared land all around Crescent Head.

However, Mr Pitt explained that Lands had advised later that rezoning was premature.

Now we understand why.

The land at Goolawah estate Stage 2 had been incorporated within the Draft Maria River Regional Crown Reserve and outside the Draft Mid North Coast Regional Planning Strategy.

My inquiries so far have revealed that the land has crept back into the Planning Strategy as future urban expansion, and the map is covered with black dots indicating environmental constraints

Last Thursday with Alan Gill of Crescent Head we were doing a bird survey in the land at Stage 2 when I discovered a very large male koala. Of course I named him Anthony.

The poor thing is there not knowing what the humans with the power over his life and environment are planning in this International Year of Biodiversity 2010.

I wonder what Minister Tony Kelly will decide. Does State Labor need money so desperately it will clear fell a forest with such incredible conservation value?

What is it to be, Mr Kelly? The money or the koala?

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