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:
Report now available on-line
To submit/provide feedback regarding the content of this page, please email the web designer.
More information on Dr Peter Hiscock is available at the university website: www.anu.edu.au
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
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 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.
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."
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.
The resolutions passed unanimously at the meeting are reproduced below, and more details of the event will be forth coming.
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.
We ask that the first part of the Illawarra Regional Park at Sandon Point
be established, by resuming:
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.
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?
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.
real estate company involved is Martin Morris and Jones. They can be contacted
on 02 4229 5555.
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 can also be contacted via email [firstname.lastname@example.org].
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.
Sandown Point Freaks.
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.
Point Location: Wollongong
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).
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
"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."
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
The community says: No Houses!
Aboriginal Tent Embassy (CATE)
Cultural Heritage Destroyed
people denied appropriate consultation
Real consultation would have placed control of all cultural heritage matters in the hands of local indigenous authorities
for the vision of Guboo
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.
Embassy protects the spirit of the Land
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.