15 January 2018
Dodgy KI golf course planning approval process raises alarm
The state’s peak environment body has called on the State Government to scrap a plan to sell public coastal reserve land on Kangaroo Island to golf course developers.
The call comes as the consultation process for a section of the land in question closes today.
“This has been an appalling process that has dismayed many,” said the Chief Executive of Conservation SA, Craig Wilkins.
“We express our deep alarm at the proposed sell-off of this coastal reserve land without appropriate investigation or assessment. The loss of access to this land by the general public — and the precedent this sale will create — is of great concern.
“The land under threat is not ‘surplus’, but rather a vital and integral part of the coastal strip of this region, and the coastal reserve system of the state.
“It beggars belief the State Government thinks it can get away with it,” he said.
The original plan involved building a golf course away from the coast on former farmland privately owned by the developers. Development approval was granted on this basis.
The developers then sought and obtained approval by Planning Minister John Rau for a major variation, including shifting the golf course onto public coastal reserve Crown Land of significantly higher heritage and environmental value. The land package now extends right up to the cliff face without appropriate public consultation nor environmental or heritage assessment.
The Government has now agreed to sell off this coastal bushland — a vital wildlife corridor between the Dudley Peninsula and west of the Island, with resident ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles, Southern Brown Bandicoots, Little Penguins and places of heritage significance — describing it as ‘surplus’.
“The outpouring of concern by the public on the YourSay website is indicative of a deep scepticism that this sale is being conducted as it should be: with due process, and appropriate checks and balances.
“Any Minister or Government who ignores this public concern does so at its peril,” he said.
Media contact: Craig Wilkins, 0417 879 439