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Sandon Point management plan adopted

AFTER four years of debate Wollongong City Council has adopted a Plan of Management (PoM) for Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach.

Council adopted the plan at its meeting on Monday 23 February. As part of the report, Council also noted the support of the Elders from five Aboriginal community groups to participate in a Joint Management Agreement for the site. This agreement will be developed over the coming months.

“This is an exciting step, and a necessary one I wish to thank everyone who has been involved in this process,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“It has taken many years, and a lot of consultation with the community and numerous government bodies to reach this point and develop a Plan of Management for this important and much-loved site. Now we can focus on enjoying this beautiful area knowing the guidelines of how to appreciate, and protect, this special place have been set out.’’

The Plan of Management for Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach has been in development since 2011 after Council acquired the remaining privately owned coastal section in December 2010. The Plan of Management, a requirement under the Local Government Act for all Community Land, guides day-to-day operations, future activities and developments at the site, as well as Aboriginal cultural uses and developments.

“This is a special site and one that should be treasured by all members of our community,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“I welcome the news the Aboriginal community organisations will work together to develop a Joint Management Agreement for this area. It was a historic occasion when the five groups came together last November to plan how we could work together to protect the values of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Place. I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure we look after this place for future generations.’’

The Joint Management Agreement will be developed with representatives from the Wodi Wodi Elders Council, the Wadi Wadi Coomaditchi Aboriginal Corporation, Korewal Eloura Jerrungarah Tribal Elders Aboriginal Corporation, Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach PoM will be available to read on Council’s website shortly.

Brief History of Developing the Sandon Point & McCauley’s Beach Plan of Management

2007 – A large portion of the Sandon Point & McCauley’s Beach area was declared to be an Aboriginal place.

2010 – By December, Council owned the foreshore area at Sandon Point & McCauley’s Beach. It’s a 17 hectare area and is classified as Community Land. Council is required to develop a site-specific Plan of Management for community land categorised as an area of cultural significance. The Office of Environment and Heritage also recommended Council develop an Aboriginal Place Management Plan.

2011 – Council carried out preliminary consultation with key stakeholders and more than 400 people to start developing a draft Plan of Management for Sandon Point and McCauley’s beach.

2012 – In November Council resolved to exhibit a draft Plan of Management for the area which was made up of four documents. These documents – the Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach draft Plan of Management, the Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach draft Access Plan, the Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach draft Revegetation and Restoration Plan, and the Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach Aboriginal Place draft Management Plan.

2012- March 2013 – During the 90 day exhibition period two public meeting were held, 15 meetings were held with stakeholder groups, and 180 submissions and a petition were received.

2014 – In June Council considered a report on the submissions, the public hearing and petition. As a result, the draft PoM was reorganised and simplified. It combined the former Plan of Management, the Access Plan and the Sandon Point Aboriginal Place Management Plan into one plan. The Revegetation and Restoration Plan was simplified and became a stand-alone Vegetation Management Plan. Council resolved to exhibit the simplified draft PoM, to use the Vegetation Management Plan to guide future vegetation activities, and invite Elders from five Aboriginal Community groups to work with Council and develop a Joint Management Agreement for the area. From the exhibition 39 submissions were received.

2015 – Council adopts the Plan of Management for Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach and notes the support of Elders from the five Aboriginal community groups to participate in a Joint Management Agreement.

For further information contact Council’s Customer Service on (02) 4227 7111.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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