Push to save Spring Gully in Royal National Park

Land concerns: Bundeena residents outside Sutherland Shire Council chambers this week are happy the council has recommended the former night soil depot and adjacent land be transferred to the Royal National Park.
Land concerns: Bundeena residents outside Sutherland Shire Council chambers this week are happy the council has recommended the former night soil depot and adjacent land be transferred to the Royal National Park.

Sutherland Shire Council will progress talks with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to transfer its former night soil depot at Bundeena and adjoining land set aside for roads to the Royal National Park.

Developer RVA Australia lodged two applications with the council to develop a recreation camp with six guest accommodation tents, a reception tent, refuge building with garage, workshop and a caretaker's dwelling.

A second related application is to open up of two "paper roads", or unmade roads, adjoining the site.

The 5.6-hectare site at Spring Gully was sold by Scouts Australia NSW in 2013.

At its February 9 meeting, the council adopted a recommendation to progress negotiations with the National Parks for the transfer of the former Bundeena night soil depot to the south of the Spring Gully site.

The council also recommended that the unmade sections of "paper roads" be included in the transfer of land to the Royal.

Sutherland Shire mayor Kent Johns has written to MPs in the area seeking support for the state government to acquire the land so it can be added to the Royal.

"The best use of the land would be for it to become part of the Royal National Park so that its ecological values are assured protection," he said.

"The land is a logical extension of the Royal National Park. The land should be acquired by the state if the land becomes available."

The owner of the former Scouts land at Spring Gully was disappointed by the decision.

"A year ago the council resolved to call for expressions of interest for eco-tourism on the former night soil depot," he said.

"We were waiting for those expressions of interests to proceed and now they will not.

"We feel very sorry that there is a missed opportunity to utilise the currently, already disturbed opened spaces on the night soil depot for an eco-tourism project."

He said the status of his two development applications was still to be assessed by all parties.

Spring Gully Protection Group spokesman Mark Da Silva said residents welcomed the move by the council to progress talks with the National Parks to transfer the night soil depot land to the Royal.

"The community calls on Pru Goward, Minister for Planning and Environment; Rob Stokes, Minister for the Environment to support and act on the council's call for all the Spring Gully lands to be added to the Royal National Park," Mr Da Silva said.

Should the state government acquire Spring Gully at Bundeena? 

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