Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures are considering giving some of the 3,000 acres they own to New Zealand Mining Company. Rocla Materials, as an ecological offset in exchange for Rocla providing Glenworth Valley with a new access road into their property.
I recently met with the owners of Glenworth to discuss my strong concerns about the offset deal. At ﬁrst, I heard from many locals that Glenworth had ‘sold out’ to Rocla, and that it was ‘too late‘, so I decided to give them the opportunity and the courtesy to explain their position. Firstly, I feel it is very important for me to acknowledge the over 20 years of effort and hundreds of thousands of dollars that the owners of
Glenworth Valley have spent defending the area from over development in the past.
However, now they are not only not involved in the current Land and Environment Court appeal against Rocla Materials, but it very much looks like they are considering supporting Rocla. I was deeply shocked to hear from the owners themselves that they had approached Rocla and offered them the offset. They told me that they believed the quarry was going to go ahead anyway and wanted to see ‘what they could get out of it’.
For the ﬁrst time in my life, I was lost for words. With the land and Environment Court appeal against the Government’s decision to allow Rocla’s new quarry set to go ahead in September, we need Glenworth’s support now more than ever. In my conversations with the owners of Glenworth, they have remained adamant that their offset deal will not inﬂuence the Court’s decision in regards to whether or not the quarry will be approved. I ﬁnd it very difﬁcult to believe this.
If it’s not hurting our chances of saving Calga, it’s certainly not helping us. Ironically, I feel like we are having to ‘take on’ Glenworth, in order to save Glenworth, as this quarry will have a devastating impact on the ecology of Glenworth Valley, most particularly the incredible and picturesque watercourses that Glenworth Valley are so famous for. This massive 30 metre deep sand quarry will eventually destroy our high ground aquifer, which supplies much of the water to the entire southern Central Coast region.
It will cause local extinctions of threatened ﬂora and fauna species, force the Walkabout Park Wildlife Sanctuary to close their gates for good, and it will desecrate our incredible and irreplaceable indigenous cultural heritage. Furthermore, the road Glenworth is trading the offset for will cut straight through the so-called offset land and destroy around another 40,000 square meters of precious ecologically and culturally sensitive bushland. Interestingly, as far as I understand it, the land Glenworth offered Rocla as an offset to be protected, was never under the threat of being developed.
But now, instead of being protected, they plan on putting a road right through the middle of it. I very much doubt Gosford councillors would support such a large development in this area, especially since they have been unanimously opposed to the new quarry, due to the before mentioned reasons. I also strongly doubt that the community would support it either. It saddens me greatly to have to lobby Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures. Their past efforts for protecting the valley are legendary, and they have been key players in what makes the Central Coast the great place it is.
In saying that, I feel it is critically important that they support the community here, not an overseas mining company that seeks to plunder our area with no consideration for what our community wants and needs, and all for their own proﬁt. A family friendly Peaceful Community Gathering to show any objections to this
action will be held outside Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures on Peats Ridge Rd on Saturday, May 31 from 2pm to 4pm.
18 May 2014