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Media Release

The Community Environment Network has raised concerns over the plans and what appears to be political manoeuvring over the former hospital land at Mooney and Peat Island. The plans proposed in 2014, involve a substantial expansion in scale of the development, a reduction in public access and Tank Hill being developed for housing. Previously, in 2011, Tank Hill was proposed as an addition to Popran National Park.

John Asquith, Chairman of CEN, said “Everyone is expecting some development to happen on the old hospital lands at Peat Island and Mooney. However, the issue is the scale and public benefit of what is proposed not just development to rake in money for the NSW Government. CEN and locals want to see the western side of the Motorway around Peats Island with more public access and not private housing. The substantial area of land to the East of the M1 Motorway was formerly staff housing and is hidden from view. It is highly suitable for redevelopment.”

Last week, former Howard government MP and Minister, Jim Lloyd claimed (NBN News 9th January) that locals in the form of Mooney Cheero Progress Association supported the proposals. CEN has been told this is not true and that the Progress Association members do not support the proposal. Why the former MP and Minister would say this when it is contrary to the position of the locals is a mystery.

It is worth noting that the route of the High Speed Train from Brisbane to Sydney passes over the 2 Ha. area set aside for public access near Peat Island. According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development there are likely to be 20 trains per hour by 2065.  See: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/high_speed/corridor/bs4/index.aspx

Mr Asquith went on to say “In 2012, the current government had agreed to split the eastern side of the land at Mooney for housing and commercial purposes as it was seen as a local issue. Development of the western side of the Motorway around Peats Island was to recognise the importance of the iconic Australian landscape and the need for more public access to the Hawkesbury River and nearby National Parks. However, in 2013, this approach started to change to the current overdevelopment now proposed with very limited public benefit. Is this all an attempt to subdivide and beat the requirements for reservation of land for the High Speed Train?”

Attachment: jpgPhoto of Tank Hill from M1 187 MB

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