New environmental facility proposed on Aboriginal Land Council land

The parcel of land at Mangrove Mountain earmarked by the Darkinjung DAThe parcel of land at Mangrove Mountain earmarked by the Darkinjung DA

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council has lodged a Development Application to erect an environmental facility at Bell Rd, Mangrove Mountain.

The site contains 11 important cultural sites, some of which are registered on the AHIMS database, and forms part of a broader cultural landscape which links Darkinjung country with sites beyond. The purpose of the facility is to make the site more available to Darkinjung members and to house the community for connection with country and care sessions, as well as being available for groups, families and individuals to reconnect with their heritage.

The development will include use of the land as an environmental facility, with minor works comprising the installation of an environmentally friendly toilet facility, shelter and informal parking area. The proposal has been designed as a low impact development in direct response to the environmental and cultural value of the site. The subject site is located within the E2 Environmental Conservation Zone with the proposed development permissible with consent in that zone. According to the Statement of Environmental Effects submitted with the DA, the subject site consists of an irregular shaped piece of land with a total width of approximately 1.158km and a total depth of approximately 1.356km.

The site is vacant land consisting of natural vegetation and important cultural sites. The site forms part of a larger land holding owned by Darkinjung in the locality. The Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) states: “The development will provide a site for members to experience the surrounding natural systems and allow for the passing down of stories and traditions important to the Darkinjung people.” The SEE also contains plans to incorporate: “The sensitive placement of walking trails; informal seating and displays; construction of a shelter, being a prefabricated ‘car port’ style structure measuring approximately 5.5m X 8m x 2.7m, with adjacent water tank; informal car parking facilities, adjacent to the existing track to accommodate approximately 8-10 cars; and, installation of a compact, modular, prefabricated , environmentally friendly toilet facility measuring approximately 4.15m by 4.9m.” Based on supporting documentation and the cultural significance of the site, the SEE recommended council approve the DA.

Document, Jan 9, 2017 DA51308 Dilon Luke, Journalist

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