Mayor Gash commits to Policy review following Callala Beach meeting
July 26, 2013
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash has committed to reviewing Council’s Policy regarding the sale of land for unpaid rates following a residents briefing at Callala Beach last night.
Council staff and Councillors met with over 100 Callala Beach residents last night to discuss issues surrounding the lodgment of a DA for a two storey dwelling located on lots surrounded by a bush reserve between Griffith Street and Callala Beach.
The DA is proposed across a consolidated three blocks of land purchased at auction for approximately $6,500 in 2010. The auction was authorised by Council in order to recoup unpaid rates on the land.
While it was initially assumed that the land could not be built on due to zoning issues, a dwelling is in fact potentially allowable on the consolidated lots with consent following the adherence to a number of site specific conditions.
Mayor, Gash said that she could certainly understand many of the concerns and frustrations expressed by the community at last night’s meeting.
“The decision to auction off land at Callala Beach to recover unpaid debts was made by the previous Council in 2010,” said Clr Gash.
“While there was understandably a certain degree of frustration expressed at last night’s meeting I have assured local residents that Council would be working to ensure a similar situation does not take place in the future.
“I will be presenting a Mayoral Minute at next week’s Ordinary Meeting calling for a full review of Council’s Policy on the sale of land for unpaid rates as well as a review into the processes of how land is sold.”
“I will also be ensuring that in the future all Community Consultative Bodies are made aware and provided with a list of land to be auctioned by Council.”
“While these measures may not assist in this current situation, it is important that Council learns from past experiences and works to ensure similar mistakes are not repeated.”
Mayor, Gash said Council staff also took the opportunity to remind local residents that the DA assessment process was far from complete.
“Council staff are currently investigating a number of environmental issues in relation to this DA,” said Clr Gash.
“As such, the applicants are required to provide Council with further information.”
“A final decision regarding the DA will be made by Council later this year.”