A letter from Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith, to NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Mr Andrew Constance, has not resulted in any reconsideration of sites other than Kangy Angy for the new inter-city fleet train maintenance facility.
“The Kangy Angy site was selected after comprehensive analysis, which included engineering, environmental and construction considerations,” Mr Constance said in his response to Mayor Smith’s letter.
“John Holland has been selected to provide detailed designs and to construct the facility,” he said. “Preparation work, including surveys and service investigations began in January 2018.” Mayor Smith wrote to the Minister in December as an outcome of a Council resolution to call for Transport for NSW to reconsider the Kangy Angy site, and instead move to the Warnervale site, adjacent to Link Rd. The Warnervale site was originally the site preferred by Transport for NSW until intervention by the former Wyong Council alerted it to the Kangy Angy land. The sale of the Council owned Kangy Angy land was completed while the Central Coast Council was under administration.
The flood-prone land at Kangy Angy, known to include habitat for several ecologically endangered communities, was approved with 19 additional conditions imposed by the Federal Department of Environment and Energy, in June, 2017. The Federal Department called for the preparation and implementation of a groundwater management plan at least one month before construction commenced and construction can’t commence until that plan is approved by the Federal Minister for Environment and Energy, Mr Josh Frydenberg. The Groundwater Management Plan is intended “to minimise the impacts of the action on Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems that support, or may support, Biconvex Paperbark located onsite and offsite”.
The Federal consent also places restrictions on how much land can be cleared, being not more than 19.6 hectares of high-quality swamp forest; and 3.6 hectares of wet open forest that is foraging habitat for the Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater within the impact area. “To compensate for the impacts to foraging habitat for the Swift Parrot, the person taking the action must provide an offset package in accordance with the offset requirements calculated under biobanking for the relevant plan community types,” the approval document said. Wyong Regional Chronicle has asked the Federal Department of Environment and Energy for confirmation that the Groundwater Management Plan has been submitted and approved and any outcome of our inquiry will be reported in the next available edition.
Source: Agenda item 4.4, Feb 26 Central Coast Council ordinary meeting