Killalea Park under threat again

Killalea State Park.

Killalea State Park again faces the threat of overdevelopment, says Peter Moran, the Greens candidate for Shellharbour in the NSW state elections.

Community members organised in the Save Killalea Alliance (SKA) claimed a victory in May last year when a $35 million development proposal backed by investment firm Babcock and Brown was scrapped.

The proposal would have allowed 106 accommodation lodges to be built on the pristine site. Developers had made an earlier proposal to build 202 residential lodges, pools, tennis courts, restaurants and a conference centre.

The SKA has campaigned against the development plans and says the vast majority of locals oppose the development plans.

The South Coast Labour Council placed a Green Ban on the proposed development in support of the local campaign. The Greens and Socialist Alliance also backed the community opposition to the development plans.

But Moran says Killalea Park, which includes the famous surf beach known as “The Farm”, is again under threat.

“The [Kristina] Keneally [Labor] government is requiring Shellharbour City Council to amend the draft Local Environment Plan (LEP) to allow development to occur in all areas of the park,” Moran told Green Left Weekly.

“This is the thin end of the wedge for another Babcock and Brown style proposal.

“Shellharbour Council has listened to the will of the people and decided to limit development in the park to the area adjacent to the present camping grounds.

“The state government is telling the council they must amend their maps to allow more development, or their draft LEP will not be accepted. This is a bullyboy act from a discredited and dying government.

Moran said his greatest “fear is that once this change is made another development proposal for the iconic ridgeline becomes inevitable.

“Even if there is a change of government [in NSW] on March 26, the park would not be safe. The Liberal Party has, over the years, displayed as great an affinity for property developers as the Labor Party.

“We urge council to stand firm against this heavy handed tactic intended to deprive us of one of the natural jewels in the crown of the southern Illawarra.

“Don’t let them privatise Killalea the way they have privatised our electricity.”