Fourth attempt in 10 years to sell off open space
How long does the community need to fight to protect its community land and playgrounds?
The Peninsula news edition 284 in February 2012 documents the removal of the playground from Austin Butler reserve and the promise not to sell it.
Fast forward four years and the Council put the playgrounds back up for sale.
Peninsula News edition 403 reported the first Administrator Mr Ian Reynolds rejected the proposed strategy to sell the parks and reserves on the Peninsula.
He said Council had listened to the community who had shown "a desire to save their reserve but also expressed affection for them".
He also stated at the council meeting in 2016 that "environmental assets in the community are important to them, and they love them."
Nothing has changed in 2023.
The community still loves the environmental assets of the green space and trees in Austin Butler reserve.
And for the fourth time in 10 years, the council still under administration continues to push the sell off agenda of recreational open space.
When will the bureaucrats in council understand green Infrastructure is more Important than concrete and a balanced budget in an increasingly urbanised world?
As global temperatures continue to rise, mitigating the consequences of a concentrated humanity becomes all the more urgent.
Urban planners and designers should be more aware of ecological planning and design in managing increasing urban heat island impacts, especially on the Woy Woy Peninsula.
The Council, in moving forward with the reclassification of Lot 9 Austin Butler, sent the planning proposal to the Local Planning Panel, for the Panel to discuss the proposal behind closed doors and reject community members requests to speak against the proposal.
A request was made by the Australian Conservation Foundation Central Coast group for a "public briefing meeting" which the Panel can hold to hear submissions in a public forum about items with considerable interest and to meet with key stakeholders to discuss unresolved issues.
The Austin Butler reclassification has considerable community interest and has galvanised the community of the Woy Woy Peninsula to reject any reclassification, rezoning or Gateway proposal and yet the community is being ignored.
No response was received to our request and the Panel has sent its secret advice back to the Council under administration.
The Administrator needs to follow Mr Reynolds' lead and listen to the community and withdraw any proposal to reclassify and sell off Austin Butler.
Please email and phone the Administrator to tell him to save Austin Butler's trees and green space, and that you want him to withdraw it from the bulk reclassification.
Email, 17 Sep 2023
Mark Ellis, Woy Woy