THE proposed waterpark at Bob’s Farm has been hailed as a great opportunity for Port Stephens tourism, however local residents hold grave concerns on flood water management and the subsequent impact on locals health and wellbeing.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
Currently the drains and flood gates in surrounding properties have been being maintained by a local property owner however, with a recent land sale the community can no longer depend on this Good Samaritan.
Port Stephens residents may not be aware that Bobs Farm properties near Marsh Road flood when the drains are not maintained, but those impacted know only too well how delicate the balance is on their properties.
The sale of one property in the vicinity of the proposed waterpark will soon see a market garden business in operation this along with 135 head of cattle in the area is likely to change water dispersal as well.
The communities concerns surround the information within the planning proposal including what they believe is apparent errors in the information in relation to drains and rainfall predictions.
Former Mayor of Port Stephens and Bobs Farm resident Ron Swan OAM told News Of The Area, “With the proposal for the waterpark including cabins, the infrastructure will not allow for adequate drainage in an already flood prone area.”
He believes that more investigation is needed into the potential impact for the wellbeing of students attending Bobs Farm Public School as well.
“I have been approached by several of my neighbours who have expressed concern that there may be a political will to endorse a tourism business over the concerns of local residents and indeed council staff with regard to future ongoing negative impacts, on drainage and living conditions and on council itself.
“The Acid Sulphate Water which has been recently investigated by the EPA in the area also creates a negative environmental impact in the area.
“I truly appreciate the value of tourism to Port Stephens and would like to see more operations in the region, however these must be sympathetic to the environment and not cause extra pressure on existing infrastructure such as the drains.” he said.
Mayor Palmer told News Of The Area, “The documents are on public exhibition at present and I encourage everyone to comment on the planning proposal, the waterpark is not the subject of the proposal, only the rezoning of the land.”
By Marian SAMPSON