24 August 2017
Iluka Reserve: Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense
On Iluka, council decisions are built on flimsy information. When decisions are based on dubious knowledge, the consequences can be catastrophic.
The community loses valuable green space, properties lose value and the council loses the community’s trust. All because arguments are far from precise,
The council has moved (Petschler, Honey, Way, Steel, and Sloan) to rezone and reclassify Public Recreation land in Iluka Reserve, to allow the land to be developed for nine residential lots.
The logic for taking this action is unclear and baseless. There is no business case, no compelling reason to divest the land, no methodology for the selection of this reserve. The business case does not exist, public meetings and community engagement is strongly against the sell off and the land is not identified in the Kiama Urban Strategy for development.
The Planning Proposal asserts propositions that are not supported by fact. It says without studies or evidence that the land is under used…locals claim otherwise. At the time of the proposal, no financial information was provided. If there is any money left over, there is no commitment to reinvest in the small amount of parkland left. If fact the proposal states the opposite, in that money will go ‘towards (council’s) long term financial stability. Council has $47 million in reserves and has been declared fit for the future…so why are they wanting so badly to do this?
None of them has any real estate interests in the land or they would not have been able to vote, none own land around the reserve, they don’t live close and they will not lose any value from their homes, nor their kids a place to play, in fact, these people who call the locals ‘nimbys’ are the real ‘nimbys’ themselves!. Iluka is not in their back yard so they don’t care. They feel that they can take mental shortcuts that ease the load of basing decisions on fact and evidence. I hope that councillors will take notice of the results of the public engagement and I can only hope that all councillors remember the affirmation they took 12 months a ago… ‘that I will undertake the duties of the office of councillor in the best interests of the people of Kiama’.