Promotion of grants for the environment seen as hypocritical

A recent bush tucker talk at East Gosford Reserve

Gosford Council’s promotion of grants for environmental projects at the same time that it is proposing to reclassify and sell community reserves has been described as “hypocritical”.

Save Central Coast Reserves spokesperson, Ms Sue Chidgey said it was “with disbelief” that she read a Gosford Council advertisement (in another publication) inviting applications for funding via the Gosford Protection of the Environment Trust.

The Gosford Council advertisement said: “The aim of the funding is to totally finance or subsidise a project which promotes the protection and enhancement of the natural environment. “In particular, it aims to promote the conservation of flora and fauna indigenous to Gosford City.”

“We are bemused that, whilst the community campaigns to save 25 reserves, parks and green spaces from Gosford Council’s planned reclassification and sell-off, the Council offers grants to protect the environment,” Ms Chidgey said. “Surely, if Council truly wanted to protect the environment, they would not be targeting these community sites,” she said.

“To demonstrate that Council are serious about wanting to protect the environment they should reconsider the potential destruction of these community and environmental sites. “Once a reserve is sold off to developers, the habitat and wildlife at that site will be destroyed. “Community groups have been created after hearing of the threat to their sites. “Only half of the reserves have come to the attention of the communities concerned,” Ms Chidgey said.

“Although the community has campaigned strongly by voicing their concerns, Council have decided to appoint an ‘independent consultant’ to research the sites. “Then the community will have only 28 days to respond before a public hearing.

“If it has taken five months for the current groups to form and defend their sites, any new groups will struggle within the 28- days timeframe provided for community comment, (particularly if council continues to refuse to advertise public consultation periods in this newspaper Ed.).

“We believe that the community should have been consulted first not somewhere along the process and that community lands should not be targeted to make money for Council. The sites that have been listed for reclassification and sale so far by Gosford Council are:

6 Isis St, Wyoming; Perratt Cls Reserve, Lisarow; Eagle Cls Reserve, Lisarow; 13 Winter Cls, Lisarow; 40a George St, East Gosford; Reserve between Wells St and Lushington St, East Gosford; Reserve, corner of Coburg St and Wells St, East Gosford; Parcel of land, corner of Dover Rd and Lakeview Rd, Wamberal; a minimum of six lots within the Yarram Rd playground, Bensville; Lots 195 and 196 Brisbane Ave, Umina; Lots 56, 40 and 42 Albion St, Umina; Lots 318 and 319 Bluewave Cres, Forresters Beach; 93a Rivera Ave, Terrigal; 36 and 38 James Sea Dve, Green Point; 1 Hely St, West Gosford; 12 Jerribin St, Wyoming; Lots 184, 185 and 187 DP 10186, 40 42 and 46 Pozieres Ave, Umina; Lot 47 and 48 Sec B, DP 10242, 9 to 11 Mackenzie Ave, Woy Woy; Lot 1 DP 247520 and Lot 372 DP 612274, 10 and 12 Jumbuck Cls, Woy Woy; Lot 192, DP 237499, 2 Kateena Ave, Tascott; Lot 22 DP 29443, 22A Delaware Rd, Niagara Park; Lot 27 DP 778345, 71 Alan St Niagara Park; Lot 17 Sec 2, DP 12702, 83 Ilumba Ave, Davistown; Lots 35 and 51 DP 26603, 37 and 39 Warren Ave, Avoca Beach; and Lot 1 DP 707133, 182 Ocean View Dve, Wamberal.

Email, Feb 22, 2016 Sue Chidgey,