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ICC signs agreement to protect sensitive bushland on Coalcliff escarpment

View of the Illawarra escarpment.jpeg

A view of the former Coalcliff Coke Works

FOLLOWING its announcement for plans to develop 18ha of former industrial land at Corrimal, the Illawarra Coke Company (ICC) have entered into an agreement with the NSW Government to protect a large parcel of the Illawarra escarpment at Coalcliff.

ICC, owner of the former Coalcliff Coke Works property, signed the Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement with the Government to permanently protect around 75ha of the escarpment that falls within its boundaries.

In signing the agreement, ICC has undertaken to protect and manage the ecological communities present in the biodiversity site to improve and maintain the conservation values of the land.

The Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement will be registered on the title of the land and, under the agreement, ICC will implement a management plan that includes access control, weed and feral animal control, and fire management.

coalcliff coke works map 2

The green shaded area shows the biodiversity conservation area (cliff lines shown in orange). ICC land (boundaries shown in blue – ND: Not a development proposal. Proposed uses will include further bio-conservation, heritage, public education and development.

ICC Director Kate Strahorn said the agreement would offer ongoing protection for a valued part of the Illawarra escarpment.

“We understand the importance of the ecological communities on the former Coalcliff Coke Works property and are pleased to have signed this agreement,” she said.

A Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement is binding on the land and requires the owner, and subsequent owners, to manage the land in accordance with the agreement ‘in perpetuity’.

The primary objective of the Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement is conservation management, however other uses such as passive recreation are permissible as long as they do not harm the ecological community being protected.

The existing walking trail which traverses ICC property along the Illawarra escarpment linking to the adjacent State Conservation Area will still be accessible to walkers.

The remaining land that does not meet the criteria for the Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement is currently being assessed for future uses including informal conservation, heritage, public amenity and development.

The ICC last week revealed a revised planning proposal for the Corrimal Coke Works site at a community information session last Saturday.

Legacy Property and the Illawarra Coke Company (ICC) plan to develop around 700 homes on Railway Street, which they claim will preserve significant historical features of the former 18ha industrial site at Corrimal, improve rehabilitation of remnant bushland, while providing housing diversity (see Latest plan for Corrimal Coke Works).

Ms Strahorn said ICC would continue to update the community on any changes to the Coalcliff Coke Works property via newsletters and through its website.

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and 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 Australia 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 writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed 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 Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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