A failed 2003 decision to give the Broulee community council land — a road reserve — needs to be resolved once and for all in favour of the residents and ratepayers, according to Eurobodalla Labor for Council.

Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) is yet again considering its options around land and a road reserve classification on Clarke Street — equivalent to about three or even four lots if a land swap was also included — which many ratepayers believed was resolved 18 years ago.

In fact, the issue dates back almost three decades and yet ESC seems unable to resolve the issue with the community’s interests the priority.

“The Broulee and Mossy Point Community Association are completely unambiguous about this issue and we will listen to and support them:  this is community land that must remain as bushland,” said Eurobodalla Labor for Council’s candidate for councillor, Claire McAsh, a Moruya resident.

“We know this lot is part of the Broulee bio-certification area, so that right away tells you something about its environmental importance.

“Further, the Broulee community has believed that one of the four options being put to council in 2021 — namely to reclassify the lot as community land — was already in force following a 2003 council resolution.

“It was only a few months ago that Mayor Liz Innes and her councillors took legal advice to the effect the 2003 decision was not a lawful resolution.

“Apparently the then-mayor and council 18 years ago did not issue a public notification in a manner consistent with the NSW Local Government Act,” Mrs McAsh added.

The lot and road reserve have been the subject of considerable discussion between the council and the community since the 1990s and has attracted extensive public support for it to be confirmed as community land.

Council meets tomorrow (12 October) to decide on the matter.

“This is very sensitive for the Broulee community,” said Labor’s Mayoral candidate, and Broulee resident David Grace. “The depth of concern has led to well attended demonstrations, numerous presentations to council and a well-supported petition.

“There will be a lot of discontent in the Broulee-Mossy Point community if council fails to adopt the resolution upon which its predecessors agreed in 2003, but instead uses a technicality today to sell off the land for development.

“Even in 2003 when land values were strong and any subdivision and sale of the lot and road reserve might have generated more than $1M for the council, the correct decision was taken not to be greedy and to retain it as bushland; nothing has changed to require it to be sold off to the highest bidder today.

“The local community doesn’t support that option, the environment doesn’t support that option, and the council should act quickly and sort it out once and for all,” Mr Grace added.

Labor’s candidates in the 4 December local government elections are: for mayor, David Grace from Broulee; and as councillors, Maureen Searson from Batehaven, Matthew Findlay from Batemans Bay, Claire McAsh from Moruya, Deirdre Russack from Narooma, and Jack Egan from Rosedale.

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