Sandon Point development approved

May 15, 2002


WOLLONGONG — On May 3, the Land and Environment Court gave Stocklands Construction permission to restart its development of Sandon Point. The development, which had been halted by a court injunction, now looks set to go ahead.

The proposed development site contains European and Indigenous heritage sites and wetlands which are home to endangered species and rare migratory birds.

The large investment company’s development includes a high-rise apartment building, which will increase the local population by 25%.

In response to the court decision, the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy and picketers at the 24-hour on-site “information centre” have vowed to stop any earth-moving equipment arriving in the area. An extensive phone-tree system will ensure the local community mobilises as soon as equipment is sighted by picketers. It is expected that Stocklands will try and begin construction on May 20.

The picketers also have the support of the South Coast Labour Council. After the Wollongong council attempted to negotiate moving the picket to allow work to start, SCLC president Arthur Rorris indicated that the unions will not let that happen.

The NSW government's recent decision to buy back Ballast Point in Balmain as parkland has prompted residents in Wollongong's northern suburbs to ask why the 60 hectares of coastal floodplain at Sandon Point should not also be public parkland.

Stocklands' easy acquisition of council approval to develop a sensitive site reeks of corruption. There has been no council-funded research into the heritage value of the area, despite evidence of such value being presented by activists to the Land and Environment Court.

From Green Left Weekly, May 15, 2002.
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