But the final form of the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy presented late in 2006 by the NSW Planning Minister, Mr Sartor, “changed the rules” of the past quarter century. The Strategy opened the way for developments which would increase the size of the Bay village by 10 times – from about 100 cottages to 1000 dwellings.
The conservation zonings introduced at the behest of the State Government by the two local councils, Lake Macquarie City Council and Wyong Shire Council, were to be ignored in any consideration of future development.
The Minister can also decide that the $5million-plus Rehabilitation program is no longer necessary if he approves suburban development.
The two local Councils, Lake Macquarie City Council and Wyong Shire Council, which have had authority over development on the Wallarah Peninsula have conservation zonings of one type of another on the area. Most of the area in Lake Macquarie is zoned Conservation Primary, the most stringent protective zone available.
To see the overview of the subscidence at moonee click here.
The State Government approved in December 2003 a Mine Rehabilitation Plan which envisages on outcome of “complete rehabilitation to a semi-natural vegetation cover.”
This Plan was prepared by LakeCoal, a venture associated with Excel Coal, a large coal exporter. Lake Coal purchased the coal lease in 2002 from the then owners. At the same time the then owners sold the freehold title of the land to a Sydney-based development consortium, which includes shareholders in LakeCoal, and is led by Rose Corp Ltd.
The approved Rehabilitation Plan and Annual Report for 2004 and 2005 are available at LakeCoal’s website, www.lakecoal.com.au . The 2005 annual report contains “before and after” photographs of rehabilitation.
The company expects that rehabilitation will be completed in 2007; when this occurs it will seek to surrender the coal mining lease.