CONCERNED members of the public gathered on a property adjacent to Mambo Wanda Wetlands to fight to buy back the land sold erroneously by the NSW government.
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Ironically, the gathering was on 109 Foreshore Drive, a block of land which Council had planned to sell off to fund other projects.
Prior to the Mambo land sale, Government documents indicated that the site’s two main constraints are ecological and bushfire with the site recognised as consisting of several endangered and vulnerable flora and fauna species.
It also provides a vital biolink for the local koala habitat.
The reports revealed a total of 11 plant species listed as threatened under the Threatened Species Conservation and or Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act have been identified as occurring, or having potential to occur, within a 5 km radius of the study area.
A total of 100 fauna species listed as threatened under these Acts have been identified as occurring, or having potential to occur, within a 5 km radius of the study area which included 79 bird species, six mammals, 10 bats, three amphibians, one fish and one invertebrate.
Two threatened fauna species have previously been recorded within the site, the Koala and Wallum Froglet.
The government documents also noted that the best use for the land is that of a recreational reserve.
The community event was attended by Kate Washington, Member for Port Stephens, and Councillor John Nell as well as representatives from Eco-Network Port Stephens, local Landcare group representatives, and the public.
Kathy Brown a resident who is leading the buyback community action group, spoke about the importance of not letting the matter of Mambo Wanda Wetlands drop off the community agenda.
Kate Washington told News Of The Area, “We shouldn’t have to be here.”
“The government has the power to buy this parcel of land back under a compulsory acquisition, and they have chosen not to,” she said.
The issue of the Mambo Wetlands land has polarised the Bay community with locals recognising that this habitat is under threat of development, while ever the land is not in public hands.
Councillor John Nell said, “We should keep Mambo Wetlands for the birds and the koalas.
“I’m hoping to see something change, the government needs to act before the state election, it will be good for the candidate and the government, if we can get the land bought back,” he said.
By Marian SAMPSON