What we thought was reasonable

Progress Association’s Policy Position 24th Sept 06 – Amended 24th February 2008
POLICY POSITION – Catherine Hill Bay Progress Association ( 24 September 2006 ; amended 24 th February 2008 ).

  1. This Catherine Hill Bay community meeting supports the intention of government to create a National Park on the Wallarah Peninsula comprising areas in each of the large land holdings held by Coal and Allied and Rose Group.
  2. The community acknowledges that such an outcome may involve some limited, sympathetic development, as per the Lake Macquarie Council Heritage and Conservation guidelines as they stand today. Any development is to be resolved through detailed planning and community consultation.
  3. Careful location of any proposed development is crucial, and this meeting believes that any proposed development should be restricted to south of Montefiore St and at the western end of Colliery Road . The community’s support is conditional on separation of the development from the heritage village and conservation areas, and preparation of appropriate Conservation and Land Use Management Plans for the proposed development sites.
  4. In this regard the community again notes and endorses the undertakings of the Minister for Planning, Mr Sartor, to appoint a community reference group and a design review panel (with professionally qualified nominated representatives of the Progress Association) to oversight development plans. The community notes and endorses the Minister’s confirmation that Catherine Hill Bay village and adjoining landscape, from coast to western ridges, will be given State Heritage listing.
  5. We will continue to press forward and operate in good faith with Coal and Allied even though reports on community consultations as conducted by Coal & Allied at workshops, regional forum and charette process misrepresented community views and the results of these were misleading. The community expresses our disappointment that Rose Group has made only minimal attempts to consult with the community.
  6. Again the community asserts that the current negotiations to achieve the outcomes sought by Government and community should not be subverted, or corrupted, in a way that permits development similar to that which has been properly rejected by the local Councils and/or the Land and Environment Court .
  7. At Catherine Hill Bay Rose Group and Coal & Allied Pty Ltd have proposed development in the heritage village and Coastal Zone, similar to that rejected by Lake Macquarie City Council, the Court, and community. RoseCorp’s proposal for the Moonee Colliery site and Coal & Allied’s proposal for Middle Camp appear to be contrary to all relevant State planning policies.
  8. The community believes that an ”historic opportunity” to provide an outstanding environmental and conservation outcome for the Lower Hunter will be lost if the Government permits development that is contrary to a raft of State regional and planning policies and is against the public interest.
  9. The community is grateful for the widespread support it has received for its campaign to protect Catherine Hill Bay and acknowledges its role as caretaker of a place that is special to many thousands of people.

What We Thought was Reasonable

In early September Minister Sartor chaired a briefing at Catherine Hill Bay during which two large owners, Coal and Allied (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto) and RoseCorp, made over view presentations of their intentions (with no detail).

The briefing was attended by representatives of Lake Macquarie and Wyong councils, and representatives of the Catherine Hill Bay , Nords Wharf and Gwandalan communities.

On 24 September the Catherine Hill Bay community met to consider the issues and carried a resolution setting out the community’s views on what was reasonable development at the Bay, and how to go about it.

Neither the community nor Progress Association opposed to development.

The resolution was conveyed to Government three weeks before the announcement of the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy.