Council’s recent media reports regarding developer forums are intended to instil confidence in the council’s administration but the lack of detail in the council’s development plans undermines this.
Administrator Mr Ian Reynolds has referred to sustainability, without providing details about how 41,500 houses and associated development will follow sustainability principles. Without details, it cannot be assumed these houses will be sustainable. There is no credible evidence to suggest that this development will be at all environmentally friendly. Even energy-efficient houses designed and constructed to meet the challenges of climate change are not necessarily environmentally-sustainable. If nothing else, their construction and use will add new materials to the waste stream.
The history of the Mangrove Mountain waste dump, for example, reinforces the message that there is a major problem with waste management. This is highlighted in Gosford Council’s waste strategy from 2013. A recommendation by Council staff to use Bulls Hill quarry as a waste processing facility was opposed by the public, which was rightly concerned about the location. It was a desperate unsuccessful recommendation by a council struggling to manage waste.
Claiming that the construction of 41,500 houses and ongoing works will be sustainable requires a waste strategy beyond 2036. A strategy of this magnitude will not be achieved at two developer forums. The project cannot be declared sustainable until there is a waste strategy that is already 100 per cent successful and can be anticipated to continue to be so over the long term, meaning well beyond 2036.
Letter, 26 Apr 2017 Norman Harris, Umina
This letter appeared first in the Peninsula News