The article “Aboriginal embassy to appeal decision” (GLW #848) included the sentence: “The developer [Stockland] refused to consult the Aboriginal community about the development [at Sandon Point near Wollongong Illawarra], although it was a requirement in the preparation of the Sandon Point Environmental Assessment Report.”
However, the most recent judgement in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales on July 26 (“Stockland vs Kennedy”), ruled that Stockland had carried out the level of consultation legally required of it.
The court ruled that, “there was notification to Aboriginal groups through the public exhibition process and that a number of Aboriginal groups responded and made submissions”.
The court found: “There was no mandatory requirement for more. Sensitivity to the special status of Aboriginal people may be thought to have warranted more direct communication with them. But that goes to the merits of the decision, which are irrelevant in these proceedings.”
The court finding is being appealed and the Sandon Point Aboriginal Embassy (SPATE) said on August 5 that four of the five main Aboriginal stakeholder groups remained opposed to the development.
SPATE said it believed: “There has been no proper consultation with the Illawarra Aboriginal Community regarding the Stockland project.”
SPATE said groups opposed to the development included: Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council; Korewal Eloura Jerrungurah Tribal Elders Aboriginal Corporation; and Wadi Wadi Coomaditchie Aboriginal Corporation, along with a number of other community groups.