Special planning proposals provide opportunity for 1,500 homes

Darkinjung chairperson, Matthew West, Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, and Coordinator General for the Central Coast, Lee Shearer, with members of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

Projects at Lake Munmorah and Wallarah will be two of the first projects to be actioned under a new suite of planning measures aimed at helping Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council achieve better outcomes for its land.

Residential development at Lake Munmorah and a proposal to rezone land at Wallarah for employment uses and environmental conservation, are outlined in the Interim Darkinjung Development Delivery PlanCentral Coast Council is currently progressing three Darkinjung planning proposals.
They are: rezoning land fronting the Pacific Hwy and Kanangra Dr, Lake Munmorah, to environmental and residential zonings; rezoning land fronting the Link Rd at Wallarah to environmental and industrial zonings;

and, rezoning land at Bushells Ridge and Doyalson to enable low density and large lot residential development, environmental conservation and a potential neighbourhood centre.
These planning proposals provide the opportunity for up to 1,500 dwellings and employment land to support 900 jobs, and the economic development from these proposals would also provide ongoing benefits to the Aboriginal community.
There will also be residential developments at Kariong and Somersby.
Darkinjung Chairperson, Matthew West, said the new plan would help generate employment and economic growth within the Central Coast community.
In the past, we have seen very long approval times.
Its a question of capacity, a number of our projects are quite large and require extensive studies which can take a number of years, he said.
Our Lake Munmorah proposal, for example, was first recorded in 2015.
The suite of pioneering planning measures was announced earlier this month by Matthew West and NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, and comprises State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Aboriginal Land) 2019, a Ministerial Direction, an Interim Darkinjung Development Delivery Plan, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining how Darkinjung and the NSW Government will work together.
West said they would provide certainty of cultural and environmental preservation for the future of Darkinjungs land holdings of about 3,700 hectares and would also help generate employment and economic growth within the Central Coast community.
Coordinator General for the Central Coast, Lee Shearer, said the package implemented a key direction of the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, which was to strengthen the economic self-determination of Aboriginal communities.
The Regional Plan recognises that encouraging Aboriginal people to gain economic benefit from their land will support broader regional development, environmental and social outcomes, she said.
Darkinjung is one of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils in NSW established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (ALR) Act 1983, and is the largest non-government landholder on the Central Coast.
The ALR Act was passed by the NSW Parliament to establish a network of Aboriginal Land Councils to acquire and manage land as an economic base for Aboriginal communities, as compensation for historic dispossession and in recognition of their ongoing disadvantage.
Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW (UDIA NSW) CEO, Steve Mann, said the measures could become a model for addressing the needs of Local Aboriginal Land Councils throughout NSW.
Many Local Aboriginal Land Councils currently lack the experience and expertise to maximise the opportunities presented by their often substantial land holdings, he said.
The Darkinjung Delivery Framework seeks to support the Darkinjung LALC in its development efforts, and in so doing, also conveys positive outcomes for overall regional development, biodiversity conservation and social outcomes on the Central Coast.

Media release, Feb 6
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council
Media release, Feb 6
NSW Department of Planning and Environment
Media release, Feb 6
Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW
Interim Darkinjung Development Delivery Plan, 2019
Interview, Feb 13
Matthew West, Darkinjung Chairperson
Sue Murray, Journalist

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