Unclear if wetlands purchase funds are still available

The area known as Davistown Wetlands Photo One Agency

Central Coast Council admits it is “unclear” whether money earmarked to be spent on the purchase of Davistown Wetlands is “still available”.

The admission comes in a report to be considered at the November 30 Council meeting.

In the report, Administrator Dick Persson is being urged to stop trying to buy wetlands at Davistown.

Council agreed this time last year to negotiate to buy eight lots or 19.26ha of wetlands for environmental protection purposes.

However, the vendor’s asking price was higher than Council’s two market valuations, and Council’s offer was not accepted.

A sum of $1,436,049 was specifically allocated by the former Gosford City Council to buy wetland parcels.

This was to be held in restricted funds under the name of “Davistown Wetlands”.

“These funds were to be used to purchase this land, however it is unclear if these funds are still available,” the report states.

“It is also unclear if Council has the financial capacity to manage these lands in perpetuity.”

The report goes on to say: “The risk of the land being developed is extremely low due to the current planning restrictions including ecology and flooding that severely constrain this land.

“Due to the low risk of it being developed, the uncertainty of available funds, and the legislative compliance for compulsory acquisition, it is recommended to discontinue any acquisition (by agreed price or compulsory acquisition) for the present time.”

The report goes to the ordinary council meeting on November 30 for a decision from Administrator Dick Persson.

Merilyn Vale