The fight to save a wildlife ‘ark’ from a ‘Porpoise Spit’ development...

The fight to save a wildlife ‘ark’ from a ‘Porpoise Spit’ development – Sydney Morning Herald


Frustrated NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes told the Herald last week: “He made a film about something like this. It’s called Muriel’s Wedding. This is Spitase Porpoise.”

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley is close to one of the new developments in the area. Credit: Peter Rae

He said NSW brought the scars of bad decisions made decades ago up and down the coast. In this case, he said, the Shoalhaven Council had the opportunity to correct the mistake.

In December, Mr Stokes wrote to the Shoalhaven Council asking for protection of the area. However, in a subsequent vote, a majority led by a party known as the Independent Shoalhaven chose not to support the minister’s request, and demanded compensation from the state government for completed waste disposal projects in the area if necessary to protect the land.

Grealhaven’s most-elected mayor was Amanda Findley, who disliked the majority of his work on the council:

“Actually he stuck his finger in it.”

According to Cr Findley, Independent Shoalhaven has a view of “development at any cost” and a close relationship with the developer. He is determined not to lose many new homes, he said.

Shoalhaven Independent mayor and leader Greg Watson said he supported the development in a timely manner and knew who wanted to protect the confiscated land.

Nearby bushland burnt in the Black Summer fires.
Nearby plants were burned in the Black Summer fire. Credit: Peter RaeBut he said that he and other Independent Shoalhaven are reluctant to spend ratepayer money to buy the land, as they are not worried before you will give it to another developer.


“If Rob [Stokes] wants to fix it, he can,” Mr Watson said, noting that the land was originally approved for subdivision with the state government.

Stokes said he had given money to the council to buy the land through a grant to buy park space.

Mr Watson said: “The money is gone. Spend it.”

The land developer, Ozy Homes director Ghazi Sangari, bought the land in 2018 for $ 3.85 million. He declined to comment on the story, but during a correspondence with NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge last year, he wrote that he expects $ 125,000 to $ 140,000 each, to cover the $ 22.75 million and $ 25.48 million shares .

Peter Winkler, of the local activist group Manyana Matters, said the group wanted to see the community, councils and state governments work together to buy the land at a reasonable price from Mr Sangari. According to an evaluation conducted last year, the land is valued at between $ 3.7 million to $ 4 million.

“If [Mr. Sangari} wants to come in and save the day as a white knight, we will support him. We will buy horses and saddles,” Mr Winkler said.

As the burned-out national park around Manyana slowly revived, the development site became more important for wildlife, Mr Winkler said.

“Running at sunset, it’s really alive,” he said.

“It has become a box.”
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