The news section in its current form will no longer be updated. An online newsletter, (with summaries sent via email) is currently under development for this purpose.

This page is intended to provide an overview of the older news regarding the campaign to save and protect Kuradji Sandon Point.

The current contents of this page includes:

HIscock Report now available on-line
Stockland breaches the law - yet again
Sydney Water shuts shop over burial discoveries in the 1970's
Minister opens door to protect wetlands and save Sandon Point
Historic coke ovens destroyed at Sandon Point (Septemberr 10)
David Campbell request Commission of Inquiry (COI) into Stocklands controverisal Sandon Point proposal.

Resolutions passed at Sandon Point Public Meeting, August 24th.
PR Parasites Purloin the Point of Life! [received via email]
The commodification has begun with the launch of the McCauley's Beach Estate advetising campaign: discover the point in life.

Webdesigner threatened with lawsuit over Sandon Point website, August 23th

Sandon Point listed as 'Endangered Place', August 22nd. The text of the document is reproduced below.The full display is also available for viewing or dowloading as a pdf document (69kb).
[will open document in a new window]

Message of support received from HG Nelson
Cummunity member attacked at the Community Picket on Thursday night, August 8th
David Kemp, Minister Environment and Hertiage refuses to place an emergency protection order on Kuradju Sandon Point
New Beta-testing website launched, July 28th.
Support for Indigneous sovereignty was highlighetd in a full page display in the Wollongong Advertiser on Tuesday July 23. The text of this display is given below
The full display is also available for viewing or dowloading as a pdf document (29kb).
[will open document in a new window]

To submit/provide feedback regarding the content of this page, please email the web designer.


A report entitled 'Appraisal of archaeological studies at Sandon Point, New South Wales' by Dr Peter Hiscock, from the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, at the Australian National University, is now available for download in pdf format [47kb].

More information on Dr Peter Hiscock is available at the university website:


Correspondence has been received indicating that Stockland is in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

They have not released 'contract terms' for the residential estate proposed as required in the Act.

Further, Stockland propaganda states that 'the first release of exclusive land is only weeks away, and the first opportunity to choose your land will go to those who enquire now.'

Considering that a subdivision certificate has yet to be granted, the land can not be released onto the property market.

Again regulatory bodies are taking no action


After indicating that they would undertake an internal investigation regarding the discovery of aboriginal remains by then Water Board staff in the 1970's (up to 8 burial sites - see Kuradji article), Sydney Water has handed the issue over to their 'public relations' section.

Correspondence from Sydney Water states: 'no written records were found with any of these departments regarding the excavation of Aboriginal remains at the construction site in the early 1970's. Efforts have been made to contact surviving employees who worked on the project which unfortunately also yielded no result.'


Senator Kerry Nettle (Greens) in question time today (September 19), identified a further opportunity for the Commonwealth to intervene in the development process at Sandon Point.

Senator Robert Hill, on behalf of the Minster for the Environment, after information presented by Senator Kerry Nettle, created a means for the Federal government to stop Stockland's controversial Sandon Point proposal. A partial transcript follows:

Senator NETTLE (2.39pm) - My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Can the Minister tell the Senate if it is a requirement of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for a population survey to be undertaken of a protected migratory bird species that could be affected by a proposed residential development, such as the one at Sandon Point, just to the north of Wollongong?

Senator HILL - I do not think it is a requirement of the EPBC Act to conduct population studies as such. The underlying issue in the question is whether there is to be a Commonwealth involvement in protecting the birds, as it might amount to a matter of national environmental significance under the terms of the EPBC act. That would depend on the circumstances: if it is an endangered species under the Commonwealth legislation, then it could certainly trigger the Commonwealth legislation. Whether the proposed action would be of such consequence that it might have a significantly detrimental effect upon the species is another matter to be determined. If the honourable senator is genuinely serious about the issue, she can provide me with the full details and I will refer it to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and see whether, in his view, the Commonwealth legislation is triggered by the proposed action.

Senator Nettle - Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. My understanding is that it is a requirement. Minister, is it acceptable for such a survey to be undertaken when the migratory species in question is know to be not in the area? Why did the minister accept a population survey of Latham's Snipe that was taken when the species, protected under two bilateral agreements, was known to be flying north for the winter? Why did the minister rely on this survey when exempting Stockland Constructions from an environmental impact assessment for the 420-lot housing development on one of the bird's roosting sites at Sandon Point, in the electorate of Cunningham?

Senator HILL - On the basis of the supplementary question, it sounds as if the act was in fact triggered but that the minister, in giving consideration to whether the action had a significantly detrimental effect upon the species, decided in the negative. It seems that the honourable senator questions that judgment. As I said in answer to the first question, if she provides me with the full details I will refer it back to the minister and ask him to have another look at it.


Historical Coke ovens and associated structures that were entombed under embankments since in the 1930's, were destroyed at Sandon Point on today (September 10).

Local historians and community members called for an independent inquiry after the meticulous care of the archaeologists in excavating the structures, highlighted the high level of preservation.

One local historian said "in accordance with the excavation permit granted by the NSW Heritage Council, the routes of all Colliery Tramways on site need to be archaeologically investigated in order to assess their significance. Only in this way can the route of the original 1863 to 1867 gravitational tramway be established."


After some soul searching David Campbell, MP for Keira, mentioned at the Sandon Point public meeting, held on August 24, that he would write to Andrew Refshauge, Minister for Planning, and ask for a Commission Of Inquiry (COI).

His subsequent speech in parliament (transcript) follows:

I raise tonight a planning issue in the Keira electorate involving the site known as Sandon Point. This has been an extremely controversial matter for at least a decade in the area that I represent, and it continues to be so. The site has been rezoned from part industrial use and part reservation for future determination to being substantially residential. About one-third of the site is now public open space or environmentally protected. Wollongong City Council is presently considering development applications, and stages two to six of the site have received consent from the Land and Environment Court and are under construction.

There is no doubt that the community is largely opposed to the development of the site, and the matter continues to be a running sore. The issue has become increasingly controversial, with claims and counterclaims. It is claimed that protesters have been assaulted or that protesters have thrown rocks and stones at workers on the site. I do not condone any violent actions or privacy breaches. Nevertheless, the problem remains. I have long held the position that local planning matters of this nature should be determined by the relevant local government authority. As a former local government representative, I understand the importance of ensuring that there is local input in planning issues. However, I no longer believe-I have announced this publicly in my electorate-that Wollongong City Council can consider objectively further development applications for the site and I have called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to examine the balance of applications.

There are significant and outstanding issues regarding flooding on the site as well as a range of environmental issues. There are also outstanding heritage aspects, both Aboriginal and European, and local traffic matters. I have written to the Deputy Premier, and Minister for Planning asking for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to a consider those aspects that continue to be a running sore in the community that I represent. There have been many attempts at mediation as well as public exhibitions. The council recently engaged Rick Farley to manage a mediation process, which enjoyed limited success. The council has also organised a series of workshops and charettes in which representatives of community groups that oppose development of the site have declined to participate. Local residents tell me that ward councillors are unable or unprepared to ensure that conditions of consent on stages two to six are in place. They also complain that ward councillors cannot give them detailed information about other consent conditions, particularly regarding local traffic management measures in Point Street, in particular.

The community's lack of confidence in the council has led me to alter my long-held position that the matter should be determined by Wollongong City Council and to conclude that a commission of inquiry should be established. The council has the opportunity and the ability to establish a formal commission of inquiry. This has not been discussed much publicly, but I place it on the agenda and the record tonight. The controversy, division, threats and counter threats and personal abuse are causing much distress in the community. No thinking person could condone such behaviour, and I certainly do not. It is important that significant planning measures of this nature are dealt with objectively. I do not believe Wollongong City Council can make objective decisions in this case so I believe a commission of inquiry should determine the fate of the Sandon Point site.


A Public Meeting was hedl at the Kuradji Sandon Point on Saturday 24th August at 12 noon. Approximately 500 people attended, overwatched by a host of Stockland representatives and a handful of police.

The resolutions passed unanimously at the meeting are reproduced below, and more details of the event will be forth coming.

We the community stand together in recognition of the importance of the Sandon Point land & its natural coastal wetland environment, Aboriginal cultural and historical significance and European heritage.

These values have been recognised by the Australian Council of National Trusts as being of importance to the heritage of the Australian nation, and as being in immediate danger & for the short-term monetary gain of a few.

Local, state and federal governments have failed the community by their inaction to protect this unique heritage place.

1. We condemn the government for having inadequate legislation for the protection of Aboriginal heritage via the granting of Section 90s. In particular, we demand that changes be made to the National Parks and Wildlife legislation which requires proper and meaningful consultation with recognised Aboriginal groups and Aboriginal elders before Section 90s can be granted. Further that proper and meaningful consultation be spelt out.

2. We call on the NSW Premier, Bob Carr, and the Minister for Planning, Andrew Refshauge, to act immediately to protect this precious coastal site.

3. We ask that the first part of the Illawarra Regional Park at Sandon Point be established, by resuming:
- all land within 40 metres of all creeks and wetlands, as requested by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Commissioner William Simpson and the Sydney Coastal Councils Group
- all areas of Aboriginal cultural significance, including burial sites, tool-making sites, camp-sites and midden areas
- the former Sydney Water land, which was sold against public wishes, and partially bought back by Wollongong City Council
- the entire AIR site, for restoration of the original wetlands to protect upstream residents from flooding

4. No public land is to be used by the developer to gain access to the site. Wrexham Rd is not to be used as access to the development.

5. We call on the NSW government and opposition parties to carry out an inquiry into the sale of the Sydney Water land at Sandon Point; specifically, why it was sold for $2.1 million without community consultation, and why part of it is being bought back by Wollongong Council for $1.4.million, using Section 94 money. The inquiry needs to investigate whether corruption or incompetence was involved.

6. We put on notice local, state and federal government representatives that unless commitments are made and implemented prior to the next elections we will do all that is possible to change our political representation.

pdf versions of the flyer [460kb] and the the media release [6kb] for the public meeting are also available .


[received via email]
The marketing gremlins and publicity trolls in the form of Janine Cullen's mean propaganda machine have been conducting photo shoots at Sandon Point yesterday & this morning. Yesterday they used the verandah of a certain nearby blue house belonging to one locally certified company pimp (need anyone guess who?).

This morning they had two models imitating a stereotypical young surfie couple (he with the surfboard & rippling torso, she with the requisite pulchitrudinous parts) down along the cycleway towards the coral trees.

Madison Avenue at work!

I can't wait to see this campaign in the Domain liftout of the Sydney Morning Herald. What about some glossy magazine photos of burning pickets, battered residents, and bulldozed landscapes? Let all those overfed & overpaid suckers out there in Greedland discover the real point of life!

Is there an advertising agent in the house?



On August 16 the commodification of the Northern Illawarra culture and quality of life began. The aim: to be sold for Stockland's profit and at the communities expense.

A large billboard with the message 'discover the point in life is' was seen on the Princes Highway in Kogarah. The billboard pictures a (heterosexual) couple walking across a beautiful sandy shore. The couple are looking back at the camera, smiling, hair blowing in the sea breeze. The beach looks impeccable, clean with nice rocks jutting off the point.

The location, Sandon Point. The Illawarra escarpment dominates the background.

The Stockland insignia is at the bottom of the billboard along with the title of the new suburb: McCauleys Beach Estate Another billboard was spotted at the intersection of Prince's Hwy, King Georges Rd and Stuart St Blakehurst on August 18.

A 'scale' model of 'the point' was also on display at Miranda Fair on August 20.

The real estate company involved is Martin Morris and Jones. They can be contacted on 02 4229 5555.
[more contact details are available]


On Wednesday the designer of the Sandon Point website was contacted by Michael Corcoran and Phillip Hepburn on behalf of Stockland Trust Group and threatened with legal action. The basis of the threat was the inclusion of details relating to Stockland staff members on the website.

The text of the email sent by Phillip Hepbern is reproduced below:

I refer to your telephone conversation with our Mr Corcoran. It has come to our attention that you are the web designer of this site. We understand that you propose to publish on this site details of the names and residential addresses of certain Stockland personnel and encourage protesters to visit them at home.

We believe that peaceful and orderly demonstration against the Company is a legitimate activity but believe this activity of harassing our staff and families is entirely inappropriate. We would request that you immediatley delete from the website, the names of the individual Stockland personnel named and that you do not publish the residential addresses of these or any other Stockland personnel.

We have reported this matter to the police and you can expect a follow up from them. If any loss or damage occurs to the property of any Stockland personnel, then we will hold you personally responsible and will take appropriate legal action against you.

Phillip Hepburn
General Counsel and Group Secretary
Tel (02) 9561 2630
Fax (02) 9561 2627

Phillip Hepburn can also be contacted via email [].

ABC Radio discussed this with Stockland representatives at 8:30am on August 24th. A transcript will be added if available. It has also received significant media attention since, with Nick Duncan continually expressing concenr in an attempt to divert media attention away from the listing of Kuradji Sandon Point as 'endangered' by the Australian Council of National Trusts as a result of the proposed development.

More details will be provided, in the public interest, when they are available. this includes a 'legal' response to these threats.


The following message was received and asked to be read out at the Public Meeting on August 24:

Dear Sandown Point Freaks.
Sorry I can't be with you this afternoon. I am taking the long handle to a couple of property developers. You know what they are like. They take a very long time to put away.

It is tremendous to hear that so many people in the northern suburbs have taken time today to down the tool and leave it alone long enough to help out at the coal face of this very worthy cause.

Sandown Point is a fabulous part of the world. And given the scale of the prroposed plans it will need all the help it can get.

Congratulations to you all for making the hard yards today. Without your efforts and the efforts of like minded souls around the nation this country would be totally stuffed as opposed to slightly stuffed.

Dump on!
H G Nelson


On August 22, the National Trust released its 2002 Endangered Places list. Sandon Point was included on this list.

The text

Sandon Point Location: Wollongong
Threat: Development for housing
Nominated by: Northern Illawarra Residents Action Group and other community groups supported by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

Sandon Point is an area of 60 hectares of magnificent coastal land containing significant Aboriginal sites which is under immediate threat of intensive housing development. Parts of the site have been used for industry, but most is covered with forest, grassland, and wet land habitat.

The land provides the only remaining green corridor between the Illawarra escarpment and the sea in the northern Illawarra. Situated at the juncture of three waterways, Sandon Point provides habitat for a number of threatened species of plants and rare birds and animals and could provide habitat corridors to encourage the re-introduction of local species now lost to the area.

Development proposals at present include the building of some 700 dwellings on the land. This will reduce habitat, pollute water ways, disturb Aboriginal sites, and remove the opportunity for this land to be restored to the community as a natural reserve.

The full display is also available for viewing or dowloading as a pdf document (69kb).


Shortly after midnight on August 8, Arthur Montgomery, 53, a lifelong resident of Bulli and local surfer at Sandon Point, was disturbed in his sleep by the noise of someone breaking the two flagpoles at the front of the picket. The Australian and Aboriginal flags that were flying at the picket were both stolen.

He sustained a variety of bruises to his face, head, and back, as well as abrasions to one hand, as a result of the assault. Police interviewed him while he was being treated at Bulli Hospital.

The communtt Picket media release is available as a pdf document [7kb].

An article that was printed in the Illawarra Mercury on Augsut 10 is also available.

If you hear anything about this, or of the flags being found, could you contct the picket on 0402 547 800


Reply (dated 7 Aug 2002) from Chief of Staff of the Office of the Minister Environment and Hertiage says, in part:

"Dr Kemp .... recently received an application for emergency protection under section 9 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (the Act) of the area known as the Sandon Point Residential Subdivision Stage 2-6 Development Area. Following detailed and careful consideration of the arguments and evidence supplied by the applicant and the developer, Dr Kemp declined to make a declaration under the Act."


The new design of the website was uploaded for beta-testing on July 28th.

New content is being added several times a week, and it is anticipated that the new site will be fully operational by mid August.

Comments and feedback should be directed to the webdesigner


Civic leaders representing all levels of government have failed Aboriginal people by allowing the destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage at Kuradji/Sandon Point. We, in the community, must take responsibility and act now to save sacred Aboriginal land

The community says: No Houses!

"We the Sovereign peoples of this land from the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy are reclaiming our sacred traditional areas on behalf of all Aboriginal Nations. Ceremony is in place and will be ongoing until instructed by our elders. We have an obligation to do this for our land, our ancestors, our warriors, our people, our culture, and our future generations. We will put a stop to this cultural genocide and desecration that has been going on since 1788."

                Canberra Aboriginal Tent Embassy (CATE)
                Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy (SPATE)
                Cockatoo Island Aboriginal Tent Embassy (CIATE)
                Korewal Eloura Jerrunguruh (KEJ)
                Wadi Wadi Aboriginal Corporation (WWAC)
                Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation (CUAC)

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Destroyed
The NSW Government has turned a blind eye to the destruction of Aboriginal heritage at Sandon Point. Stockland, the developer, has been granted a Section 90 Consent to Destroy Aboriginal Cultural Heritage by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. This and the development it allows is destroying a 4000 year old Tool-making Site, and ceremonial gathering place. It will also cut access, via an ancient Dreaming Track, to the 6000-year-old sacred burial site of a 'clever fella' (Kuradji), which in turn will be desecrated by the proximity of the intended housing development.

Aboriginal people denied appropriate consultation
Stockland, Wollongong City Council, and National Parks and Wildlife Service have failed to adequately engage local Aboriginal people in decisions made on this development. Local Aboriginal people were denied an opportunity to adequately assess their own cultural heritage, and as a consequence, the full cultural value of the site is not appreciated. This is in direct contravention to the requirements of the full heritage study recommended to Wollongong City Council. It also contravenes internationally agreed heritage and Indigenous rights principles, which are the responsibility of the Federal Government.

Real consultation would have placed control of all cultural heritage matters in the hands of local indigenous authorities

Respect for the vision of Guboo
Senior Yuin Lawman, Uncle 'Guboo' Ted Thomas, at 93 years of age, joined the February community blockade in his wheelchair, to oppose the start of work on the site. In the words of Senator Aden Ridgeway: " Guboo symbolizes all of the struggles for Indigenous people about a need to sustain a connection back to the Dreaming. Most of all he showed us the way to protect, nurture and feel something about these things that inspire and give sustenance to the idea of the Dreaming, and what it means to be able to protect them in the contemporary world."

Until Australian governments, at all levels, respect the wisdom of the Elders and Lawmen of our senior cultural partners, on matters of their own culture, the hope for the reconciliation embodied in these words, and the events which engendered them, will not be reflected in the broader Australian community.

For over 200 years Australian Governments, have participated in, or allowed acts of Genocide against Aboriginal People. Despite much talk of Reconciliation, Cultural Genocide is occurring right now at Kuradji/Sandon Point.

Tent Embassy protects the spirit of the Land
The collective struggle of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and local Indigenous Elders is an expression of the living and dynamic nature of local indigenous culture, which exists to protect the physical and spiritual integrity of these sacred and special places.

We must support them now, or the spiritual tenor of this sacred and beautiful place, will be tragically degraded by this environmental and urban planning nightmare We, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, wholeheartedly support those Indigenous people making a stand for their rights and culture at Kuradji/Sandon Point. We call on all three levels of government, local, state and federal, to honour the responsibilities of their offices and intervene immediately to stop the violation of indigenous rights inherent in this development.

We support the Joint Statement of Claim made by representatives of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the Canberra Tent Embassy.