The Fate of Mambo Wanda Wetlands Debated in NSW Parliament Thanks to Residents Petition

WetCon members with Port Stephens MP Kate Washington at NSW Parliament House for the debate on Mambo Wanda Wetlands.
WetCon members with Port Stephens MP Kate Washington at NSW Parliament House for the debate on Mambo Wanda Wetlands.

 

THE continuing saga of the Mambo Wanda Wetlands has seen the community of Port Stephens united.

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Just under 14,000 signatures were collected, which allowed Kate Washington member for Port Stephens to debate the issue in parliament.

Locals Irene Jones and Kathy Brown have certainly been at the coal face of the move to buy Mambo Wanda Wetlands back and to keep it in public hands.

Kathy Brown Secretary for WetCon told News Of The Area, “The rebuttal in the debate was from two National Party members, with neither the Premier nor the Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, present in the House during the debate.

“A very disappointing result.”

They believe that the funds are available through the Coastal Lands Protection Scheme which has a yearly budget of $3million or the Save Our Species Fund either of which the wetlands buyback would qualify for.

“The delay by the NSW Government in the buyback is costing our Council in resources, Council staff and energy is being used to examine the second DA for Mambo, when we believe that in all sincerity the Government should have immediately asked the developer to withdraw his DA while negotiations continue,” she said.

Kate Washington member for Port Stephens said, “No Minister involved in the sale was prepared to defend their decision.”

“Myall Lakes MP Stephen Bromhead was put forward to defend the indefensible,” she said.

Catherine Cusack MLC told News Of The Area, “Kate Washington claims I “misled the Upper House” by allegedly blaming the community for not letting Ministers know the land was important.

“But that’s completely untrue.

“This is what I told the Upper House: “The members of Parliament involved lobbied the wrong Minister.

“Instead of the community petition being being tabled in Parliament, it was misdirected to the Minister for Education.

“I welcome the fact Ms Washington has finally conceded she was the one who handed the petition to the wrong Minister, and urge her to retract the offensive allegations that I blamed the community and misled the Upper House.

“I have nothing but praise for the community,” she said.

WetCon are committed to seeing Mambo Wanda Wetlands subject to a buyback and the land put back in public hands.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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