This Neighbourhood Committee 3 newsletter is to inform you of some of the latest news in our local area and of the community issues being raised at the committee.

Support for Aboriginal Heritage
The WCC meeting on 25th November agreed:

1. to urge the NSW govt to join with Council to seek a court injunction to stop all work at Sandon Point to pass legislation to preserve the Aboriginal heritage at Sandon Point, (including Stages 1-6).

2. Not to support Stockland's request to take action to remove the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy or the Sandon Point Picket.

Commission of Inquiry
As a result of the last public meeting held at Sandon Point on Saturday 24 August the government has conceded and announced a Commission of Inquiry into the 'balance of the site' in October 2002. Community input on the terms of Reference for the Inquiry has been requested. It seems likely that proceedings will not commence before 2003.

Regional Coastal Park
In view of the threat from continuing site work, the community has asked 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.

Buy Back Funding Needed
A buy back of this significant land is affordable at Sandon Point. Independent valuation has stated that the "en globo" value of the Aust Industrial Refractories (AIR) land, which is the northern part of the Sandon Point site, is $16 million, a vast difference from the $100M estimates suggested by the state government.

Aboriginal Heritage
The Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy, (SPATE) commissioned a report from Professor Peter Hiscock (ANU) which has confirmed the National significance of the site. (the report is available on the website:

Legislation is inadequate for the protection of Aboriginal heritage and changes should be made to the National Parks and Wildlife legislation which requires proper and meaningful consultation with recognised Aboriginal groups and Aboriginal elders before S 90 consents to allow destruction of Aboriginal heritage sites can be granted.

Wrexham Road and Gibson Park
At the last Sandon Point public meeting it was resolved that no public land is to be used by the developer to gain access to the AIR site. Wrexham Road is not to be used as access to the proposed residential development.

Wollongong Council is still pursuing unacceptable options that require part of Gibson Park to provide access for Stockland's development. Court Actions to save The Point Here's a brief summary of the current Sandon Point legal situation:

1. Class 4 Land and Environment Court Action: Allan Carriage (Local Aboriginal Elder) is taking court action against Stocklands, NPWS, DLWC and WCC. The preliminary hearing result is a successful injunction over the AIR site (northern part of the site) for Breaches of the EPA Act for work without development consent and under Section 90 of NPW Act for no permit. Now proceed to full hearing on the whole application.

2. In the Supreme Court Allan Carriage has lodged Caveats on all land owned by Stockland including Stages 1 - 6. Whilst the caveats stay no land sales can take place. Allan Carriage is claiming equitable interest in the Aboriginal objects existing on the land. Stockland has taken the proceedings to the Supreme Court to remove the caveats and it has been adjourned until 3 December.

Potential Court Action:

  • Cooksons are threatening to sue Council for rezoning their land from Heavy Industry to Light Industry.
  • 80 jobs at Cookson's are threatened by the Stockland housing development because of noise impacts on houses to be built within metres of the factory.
  • Wollongong City Council threatens to sue Stockland over Stage 7.
  • Stockland threat to sue Council over Sandon Point Picket and the SPATE embassy.

Sandon Point DCP Review Committee
Following on from the Rick Farley led facilitation Process Committee, the Wollongong City Council Development Control Plan (DCP) Review Committee commenced to review the DCP for the Sandon Point area including Gibson Park.

This has the potential to impact on a large area of Thirroul. Issues being considered include traffic options for Stockland's development and access to Thirroul Station through Gibson Park and McCauley Park.

Neighbourhood Committee 3 is represented by Cate Wilson and Ross Dearden and the other Community representatives are Michael Organ and Alex Peterson. Community Workshops were held on 10 September 2002 and from Wed 11th to Friday 13th September 2002, although because of the dates chosen and because they were held during normal working hours, most of the representatives were not able to participate.

Since then the committee has been meeting almost every Wednesday evening and a site meeting with residents was held on 23 October at Wrexham Road / Gibson Park.

The consultants, Dickson Rothchild, have now produced a draft DCP for comment by the Steering Committee. It will be on public exhibition at a later stage in the process, but talk to one of the community reps now for more information, or to voice your concerns.

Contacts & Community Meetings
McCauley Park Progress Association
Meeting to discuss action to prevent loss of public land in east Thirroul and concerns for Sandon Point DPC access proposals. Sunday 15th Dec at McCauley Park, 4.30 pm, outside 1/1 Seabreeze Place. BYO chair etc. (The street are having a bit of a Xmas get together afterward). For information contact President Alison Fettell, Ph 4268 0993

Gibson Park / Thirroul Station access
& Thirroul Leagues Club proposal

Come to the McCauley Park Meeting on 15 Dec Contact Meryn and David at 23 Station Street, Thirroul Ph:- 4268 0033 or; Or Vanessa:

Headlands Community Action Group
The Headlands Hotel proposal is another residential "over-development" and it should be in accordance with the Coastal Policy. For more information contact spokesperson Steve Allen, Ph 4267 3493; email

Farrell Road Beach Bungey Proposal
The Committee is concerned that this DA is an inappropriate use of beachfront open space. Informal Planning Conference (IPC) has been agreed, but no date has been set for the meeting until further information is provided to Council.

Sandon Point
Aboriginal Tent Embassy

has been on site at McCauleys Beach for 2 years in December. A celebration at the embassy will be held on Sunday 15th December.
All Welcome.

Neighbourhood Committee 3 meets at 7:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Thirroul Senior Citizens Hall. Because of Christmas the next meeting will be early, on Tuesday, 10th December. The first meeting in 2003 will be on Tuesday 21th January.

Come to the meetings and contribute

Terry Sands, Convenor
Ross Dearden, Secretary Neighbourhood Committee 3

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