Administrator Rik Hart has removed Austin Butler Reserve, Woy Woy, from the list of 11 blocks of land to be re-classified – for the time being.
The 4,140sqm of reserve beside Peninsula Plaza will be the subject of two surveys to test the community’s resolve.
“The Austin Butler Access, Woy Woy has generated significant local community interest and it is proposed to undertake further community engagement prior to making any decision on whether or not this site should be reclassified or sold,” Mr Hart said.
“The community engagement process is to be undertaken as soon as possible, and in two parts:
“1. An independently conducted targeted representative survey, and
“2. An open community survey via Council’s community engagement website, www.yourvoiceourcoast.com,” he said in an Administrator’s minute to the September 26 meeting.
“Should the majority of the community elect for the land to be sold, I have committed that all proceeds of such a sale will be allocated within Council’s Long Term Financial Plan to the greening of the local community, for example, via an extensive street tree planting program which aligns with Council’s Greener Places Strategy,” Mr Hart said in his Minute.
“To provide a sense of scale of the type of program this could fund; the sale of the identified portion of Austin Butler Access could fund more than 8,500 trees across the Peninsula region, including sourcing, planting and maintenance to maturity.”
He said it was initiatives like this which could achieve a significant advancement towards the objectives of Council’s Greener Places Strategy.
“I have received correspondence and have had many conversations with individuals and groups from the Peninsula region who are greatly concerned about the ‘heat island’ effects present in this region,” he said.
“Should the majority of the community express an interest (through the consultation process) in proceeding with the sale and the allocation of all funds to a greening program, such a program could go a long way in providing long-term progress in greening the local area and mitigating the impacts of climate change to the benefit of future generations.
“It should be noted that the funding sourced from this program, should it proceed, would be in addition to any existing Council programs, such as the street tree planting program which is currently budgeted at $40,000 p.a. for the entire Central Coast region.”
Mr Hart then resolved to adopt his Administrator’s Minute and then immediately dealt with the rest of the land in item 2.4 which will continue the process to be reclassified.
Previous to the meeting, two people spoke against the sale and two spoke for the sale of the land to the shopping centre. Another three people applied to speak but were rejected as the limit of four people per item had been reached.
The rest of the agenda items at the meeting were adopted as per the staff recommendations in the agenda reports and attachments.