SHELLHARBOUR MP CALLS FOR COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON KILLALEA PROJECT
Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, is today calling for extensive community consultation on a contentious proposal to upgrade and expand facilities at Killalea Reserve.
Yesterday, it was revealed by the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP, that the Berejiklian Government had awarded a $6.5 million grant to the NSW Crown Holiday Park Manager, now trading as Reflections Holiday Parks, to upgrade facilities at the local site.
The grant was awarded under the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund and is intended to fund the construction of 15 eco-friendly cabins, a multi-purpose function centre, 53 fully-serviced campsites, a new playground and walking trails at Killalea Reserve.
Over the last 24 hours, Mr Ward’s announcement has been met with strong community concern and opposition.
In a letter sent today to Mr Steve Edmonds, CEO of Reflections Holiday Parks, Ms Watson has stated that it is her “expectation that Reflections Holiday Parks, will engage with the local community in extensive consultations, as a matter of priority”.
Ms Watson met with Mr Edmonds and his Executive Team, at their request, on Thursday, 5 September 2019 for an introductory meeting.
“At the time of our meeting, I was informed that Reflections Holiday Parks had applied for State Government funding for this project, but had not yet been advised of any outcome” said Ms Watson.
“During our discussions, I did emphasise that significant community consultation would need to play an integral part of the planning process, if funding was to be awarded for this specific project.”
“The apparent lack of community consultation is one of the overriding issues being discussed by local residents since this announcement was made public… Other issues that have been raised, with respect to this project, include alternate road access to Killalea Reserve, traffic congestion, the impact on the local environment and an increase in tourist numbers at the reserve.”
“Killalea Reserve is a much loved and iconic part of our local identity here in Shellharbour. It was given special protection in 2009 and it is my expectation that Reflections Holiday Parks, will engage with the local community in extensive consultations, as a matter of priority” said Ms Watson.
Ms Watson confirmed that she will meet with Mr Edmonds and the Reflections Holiday Parks Executive Team next week in relation to this project and will use the opportunity to raise the concerns of her community and call for urgent and comprehensive consultation. Mayor of Shellharbour City Council, Cr Marianne Saliba, will also attend this meeting.