Residents call for public plans for bushland restoration
The Peninsula Residents' Association has welcomed a statement by Central Coast Council administrator Mr Rik Hart that remnant vegetation on the Peninsula was "unique and worthy of protection" but has called for plans to be made public.
The association has responded to a council request for "feedback from the community on the proposed plan for consolidating the network of informal tracks" in rare bushland on two reserves on the Peninsula.
However, the association said the proposed track consolidation was just one small item of 20 scheduled for completion this financial year, and is part of a 10-year $225,000 plan for the rehabilitation of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland.
This was not revealed on the council's consultation web page at yourvoiceourcoast.com, it said.
"It contains no links to Council Plans of Management, to site management plans or to Council work plans or Protection of the Environment Trust budgets.
"It also contains no details of other significant holdings not managed by the Council."
The rare bushland was spread across private and public land, with important stands at Umina campus of Brisbane Water Secondary College and the Thompson Health Care nursing home site at the corner of Hillview St and Veron Rd, Woy Woy, as well as the council sites at Burrawang Reserve, McEvoy Oval and Umina Oval, according to the association.
The association's submission said: "It will require a concerted effort if it is to be maintained and have a fair chance of survival in the longer term.
"If Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland is to be protected and restored, the association believes that council commitment is required on a number of fronts."
The association urged the council to take a committed "whole of council" approach to preserving UCSW, in a "collaborative effort with all stakeholders for maximum effectiveness".
It called for the council to maximise financial resources available for the restoration and rehabilitation work, making use of grant funding.
It suggested the use of other remnant bushland to enhance UCSW resilience.
It asked for the support voluntary bushcare groups, as the most cost-effective means of maintaining bushland reserves.
The association said the community should be kept fully-informed of efforts to preserve UCSW.
"This should Include full disclosure of all related information, including all bush management plans and works programs, further and on-going community consultation, and a broadly-based community education campaign, using a variety of public awareness techniques.
"There is an immediate need to prepare or update site management plans for remnant UCSW bushland and to make these publicly available.
"All plans should be updated and exhibited for comment prior to adoption.
"Information should be available and publicised, and consultation take place, ahead of
planning not after the event."
The 10-page submission referred to bushland management plans, which it submitted as attachments.
Submission, 14 Apr 2022
Peninsula Residents Association