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Celebrating: Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch. Celebrating: Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch. Featured
29 November 2023 Posted by 


Austin Butler Reserve stays in community hands
IN a major win for the community, a significant stand of mature paperbark and she-oak trees at Austin Butler Reserve, Woy Woy will be retained for the community.
Central Coast Council has resolved that no further action should be taken to progress the sale of this land.
Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch MP described the news as a win for Peninsula residents, visitors, and the Central Coast community at large.
“Together, we have shown that our community's voice counts. The community’s voice on this issue is clear and strong. In the recent online Austin Butler Access community poll, Central Coast residents expressed their overwhelming preference to retain the site in Council, community ownership," she said.
 “In fact, a huge 92% who voted through Council’s online consultation were overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the site in Council ownership. Council reported a total of 1,581 responses were received during the polling period (16 October to 13 November 2023).
In the online poll, community members were asked whether they supported Austin Butler Reserve remaining under community ownership through Council, or whether they preferred a sale to the shopping centre and as such, the destruction of this natural site, with funds going towards the long-term greening of the local area.
Of the targeted community survey conducted by phone, 49% of people voted against the sale, while 46% of people voted for the sale.
“I applaud Rik Hart’s commitment that the future of the site will be completely guided by the community’s response to the formal consultation process. The community has said loud and clear that they oppose the destruction of this beautiful stand of mature trees.
“I stand by what I voiced earlier this year, which is that I believe that investment in greening of our community should not be dependent on the destruction of dozens of mature trees, which are home to native birds and animals.
“Greening of our community should not be contigent on the destruction of our mature natural landscape. The choice is clear and the community has spoken loudly.”
Earlier this year, the community came together to oppose previous plans to reclassify the Reserve from ‘community’ to ‘operational’ land, in order to facilitate the sale of the Reserve to Peninsula Plaza, which would result in the destruction of dozens of mature trees.
On September 26, Central Coast Council Administrator, Rik Hart, resolved that Austin Butler Reserve should be removed from the bulk reclassification schedule and community feedback sought on the future of the Reserve.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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