Community expresses support for new development proposal

From left Mr John Andrews Mooney-Cheero Progress Asn, Mr Tim Irwin Hawkesbury River Residents Asn, Ms Felicity Brownrigg Volunteer Rescue Asn, Ms Liesl Tesch Member for Gosford, Mr Lindsay Johnson Milsons Passage Progress Asn, Hon Jim Lloyd Mooney Mooney Progress Asn, Ms Di Bowles Brooklyn Community Asn, and Mr Bob Brownrigg Volunteer Rescue Asn

With uncertainty about the future of Peat Island continuing, Member for Gosford, Ms Liesl Tesch, convened a meeting with residents of the Hawkesbury River community to discuss the future of the development.
Held in the old Mooney Mooney Primary School, the meeting was the first after the NSW Government released a new development proposal for housing and tourism on the island in a public meeting in April.
The Peat Island facility was closed in 2010, with initial consultations starting with the community in 2011 about what the area may look like in the future.
Ms Tesch said that local resident groups were united on the potential of the area.
“The Hawkesbury River is a beautiful place and we should be making it more accessible for visitors and residents alike to enjoy,” Ms Tesch said.
“Peat Island and surrounds are an important tourist link to the Hawkesbury River, and we need to stress the importance of keeping public access to the area.”
Local resident groups said they were frustrated that while there has been ongoing discussions, no change has been made.
Local resident and former Federal Liberal Member for Robertson, Mr Jim Lloyd, said the new development was much more reasonable.
“I am very keen to see this redevelopment proceed,” Mr Lloyd said.
“The worst thing that could ever happen for us is to see run-down useless buildings, which are an eyesore and of no value to the community,” he said.
The community whole-heartedly rejected a Liberal government development proposal in 2014 that offered inappropriate high-rise overdevelopment of the sensitive Hawkesbury River community.
While additional development on the eastern side of the expressway, close to existing housing was welcomed, local residents made it clear that they wanted the government to allow public access to the Hawkesbury River and Peat Island.
John Andrews, the Secretary of the Mooney Cheero Progress Association, said he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting, celebrating that key leaders in the community were united in their vision for the Peat Island Hawkesbury River development.
According to Ms Tesch, once the plans are released from the Department of Planning, Central Coast Council offered to extend the community consultation period from one to three months, and made assurances that consultation would occur within the local community.
She said no decisions would be made on the future of the Peat Island development until after Central Coast Council elections in September.
The concept masterplan is currently awaiting rezoning approval by Department of Planning and Property NSW.
The meeting included representatives from the Mooney Cheero Progress Association, Milsons Passage Progress Association, Lower Hawkesbury River Residents’ Association, Brooklyn Community Association, and the Volunteer Rescue Association.

Media release, Jun 29
Liesl Tesch, NSW Member for Gosford