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Aboriginal Land Council expresses outrage at Liberals’ interference in planning process

[by Nathan Moran]


MLALC CEO Nathan Moran at Lizard Rock. Image: supplied

The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) has expressed its outrage that the Liberal Party has promised the planning system it created, be scrapped for the sake of
saving Liberal seats on the Northern Peninsula of Sydney in the upcoming State election.

The Liberal Party announced on the weekend that, if elected, it will not allow Australia’s first residential development to be undertaken by a Land Council, located at Lizard Rock, Belrose, despite the project being progressed to Gateway by the Sydney North Planning Panel late last year.

MLALC’s Lizard Rock planning proposal is in train under State Environmental Planning Policy (Planning Systems) Amendment (Aboriginal Land) 2022, that was ironically created by the NSW Liberal Government in 2019.

CEO of the MLALC, Mr Nathan Moran said “It appears the Liberal Party is interfering in the
planning process, which was designed to be immune to political interference and

MLALC acknowledges that it has for over many years worked productively with consecutive NSW Planning Ministers - Messrs Robert Stokes and Anthony Roberts - on pursuing the MLALC’s Lizard Rock proposal.

The panel decided the MLALC’s plan should proceed to Gateway determination in readiness for re-zoning of its wholly-owned freehold land following the site’s inclusion in the NSW Aboriginal Land Planning Framework.

Mr Moran said “The panel’s decision represents a major milestone in our mission to gain
greater economic independence and ensure our group play a greater role in the modern
Australian community, yet it has been overturned because of political expediency among
the same Liberal Party leaders who were working with us”.

The MLALC intends to develop 450 low density dwellings on the 71-hectare site on Morgan
Road, which will assist the Northern Beaches Council in achieving the NSW Government’s
target of building new dwellings in the municipality.

The MLALC plans to introduce a community education facility to celebrate the land’s
Aboriginal heritage, while close to 30 per cent of the site will be maintained as open space
and conservation area.

The Aboriginal sites on the land, including engravings and paintings, will be conserved by the MLALC and remain open to the local community.

Mr Moran said “We plan to maintain the area’s biodiversity but also manage it to reduce
the risk from bushfires and we have created detailed plans in this important aspect of the
development”. The MLALC’s bushfire management plan is the result of extensive
consultations with key stakeholders and experts over a number of years.

The bushfire management plan features fire trails, new and upgraded roads and buffer
zones to ensure future dwellings, neighbouring properties including an aged care facility and historic cultural features will be better protected than they are now.

Mr Moran, said “It is very disappointing that we have strictly followed the correct planning
approval processes yet the Liberal Party’s leaders have promised to knock our development back, while a few local politicians are trying to gain political capital through making misleading or untrue statements about our plans for Lizard Rock”.

The proposed development will benefit the local area, with road upgrades, pedestrian and
cycle links, while being within close proximity to the employment zones of Brookvale, Manly and French’s Forest.

It is expected that the creation of the precinct will generate hundreds of direct and indirect
jobs in its construction.


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