WPCA submission to the ministerial panel on Currawong
presented on our behalf by Margie Morris 12.55pm Friday 13 June
The West Pittwater Community Association represents people living in the communities of McCarrs Creek, Elvina Bay, Lovett Bay and Morning (Towlers) Bay.
Pittwater and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park encompass the wonderful environment in which we live. Residents regularly experience an intimate association with the natural flora and fauna of the National Park. Such intimacies carry responsibilities.
Residents are mindful of a number of issues associated with living beside the Park. These include bushfire readiness, weed control, bush regeneration and companion animal control. Under Pittwater Council’s regulation DCP 21 we are also a pedestrian environment with private vehicles not permitted and no commercial vehicles permitted to be used on a routine basis. In the 1990s the West Pittwater Community Association undertook a visioning exercise for this unique environment.
The essence of this vision was that the integrity of the Park be maintained. Pockets of settlement exist along the western foreshores and – with the possible exception of parts of Mackerel Beach – are all of low visual impact.
The expanding metropolis of Sydney of the future will put ever-increasing demands on the essential ‘green lungs’ of the National Park. The Park needs to be viewed as a precious centre. As such, its edges and any incursions into its interior become critical threats to its integrity. The existing extent of development along the western foreshores of Pittwater is already ‘the line in the sand’.
Water access only residents commute via boat, linking with cars or public transport. The Church Point car park is already inadequate for the vehicles required to economically service the needs of offshore residents. It cannot accommodate the needs of extra development offshore.
What is of most concern to the residents of Pittwater is that the proposed subdivision at Currawong does nothing to address these issues and, more crucially, the long-term strategic importance of the National Park has largely gone ignored.
Aside from the issues of landslip, excessive visibility, unacceptable pressure on the environment and unresolved bushfire management that are inherent in the current proposal, the precedent of ‘over development’ by the Currawong subdivision endangers the long-term viability of the Park and must not be countenanced.
We are confronted with short-term gain in monetary terms for a few individuals and long-term degradation and loss for the public of the future. The management of the edges of Ku-ring-gai Chase is a critical and strategic planning issue.
In the late 1920s there was a proposal to subdivide part of the Lambert Peninsula north of the Basin close to this proposed subdivision at Currawong. At the time this was a private land holding of a Mr. Miller, whose purchase of the land was with the intention of a subdivision at the destruction of the area’s natural beauty. We are all aware that this did not go ahead. Thankfully, the then State Government had the foresight to purchase this land, which eventually enabled it to be incorporated into the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
The WPCA ask that our current State Government take on this wisdom in hindsight – that the so-called “Beautiful Riviera” that was proposed was not developed. Like our former State Government all possible measures should be taken to maintain the natural integrity of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The Park cannot support another “Riviera” in 2008.
The West Pittwater Community Association – representing the views of offshore residents – opposes the developer’s proposal for the subdivision and rezoning of Currawong in the strongest possible terms and recommends that Currawong return to public ownership as part of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
WPCA Letter to Council (49 KB)