Our public land is being privatised at the expense of the public good

Central Coast Council Photo: Justin StanleyCentral Coast Council Photo: Justin Stanley

Forum –

Having just objected to various proposed asset sales by Central Coast Council, I am particularly disturbed by the number of land sales which require a change in the zoning or reclassification of the land.

Too many pieces of land currently zoned Public Recreation or Environmental protection are being proposed to change to zones that will allow development and remove them from general public use or reduce their high level of environmental protection.

An example of this is part of the Wyong Racecourse to change from E2, high level environmental protection, as it forms part of the filter for Porter’s Creek wetlands, to allow the land to be sold with the view that stables and yards be built on the land for the racecourse.

We are allowing our public land to be privatised at the expense of the public good and environmental protection.

This should be outlawed.

The NSW Government in 2012 insisted that all councils across the state put all of their lands to a common set of zones.

The main reason for this was to make sure that all council zones were the same state wide and to stop spot rezoning, as developers tried to pressure councils to upgrade their holdings so as to make them more attractive for sale or development.

Councils had to go through a rigorous process of looking at every parcel of land within their boundaries and decide on its zoning.

The public was asked to submit reasons if they wished any land converted to a zone that was not accommodated by ‘like for like’.

What the Central Coast Council is now doing is its own form of spot rezoning, called ‘reclassifying’, where it upgrades the zone which increases the value of the land and allows either development or operations, not currently permitted, to be carried out on the land, or, to sell it off.

It is nothing more than a developer’s dream to take advantage of our current financially stressed position and grab valuable assets at our expense.

Add to this, the fact that Central Coast Council has either deferred, delayed, put on hold or put off until future years the draft rural lands audit and strategy, Council’s Landcare program and elements of the Biodiversity Strategy, Council’s Climate Action Plan, adoption and commencement of its Sustainability Strategy and adoption and implementation of Council’s Greener Places Strategy. (Chronicle, p13, May 26)

This total lack of commitment to any policy direction and protection for future generations of ratepayers who value our environment and coastal lifestyle from the mega Central Coast Council is totally unacceptable.

You might as well put up a ‘Fire Sale’ sign on every available piece of land and open space you now see and invite all developers to take advantage of our pain and ruin the place we call home!

Email, May 31
Susan Wynn, Mannering Park