Whats Going On At WALLALONG?

TRRA Watch: Updates As They Happen: 02 July 2014 Wallalong Stays Rural !

Newcastle Herald 22 July 2014: Push For Wallalong Housing Hub Not Over

Newcastle Herald 07 May 2014: Wallalong Residential Plan ‘Inconsistent’ With Guidelines

Update 11 April 2014

We asked the question in our initial post (Below) on 13 October 2013 “Who is looking after who.”  The Newcastle Herald article by Micheal McGowan: Property Moguls Benefit As Council Slashes Fees gives us a pretty fair idea.  (There are many comments worth a browse.)

This also explains the squeal “Over my dead body,” “Keep your hands off it.” from our Mayor Bruce Mackenzie in this article: Mayor Outraged By Boundary Change Proposal by Sarah Price in the Examiner  January 14 2014.

He was most upset when the cozy little deal looked liked slipping away to Maitland Council.  “And it would be 15 years at least before the council will have to spend a cracker.” – well actually it looks like we ratepayers have already got about $700,00.00 of our skin in the game Bruce. We just did not know about it………

Update 11 December 2013

This Matter was before Council again last night and the gallery was packed with enthusiastic sign waving VOWW people who had hired a bus to attend. Several excellent presentations were given by Bob Beal and Peter Reiss on the perceived problems with the development including lack of consultation with the community, lack of a proper Strategic plan and lack of infrastructure which the developer intended to contribute to AFTER the land was rezoned, subdivided and sold.

Councillor Le Mottee declared an interest and left the chamber, leaving an evenly split Council and the Mayor Bruce Mackenzie used his casting vote to move the project on to the initial Gateway Determination which will put the matter in the hands of the State Government.

The chamber was packed and emotions were high but apart from some enthusiastic clapping, a bit of booing and placard waving the crowd behaved pretty well but the Mayor was his usual aggressive self, cutting off the presentations and threatening to ‘close the meeting and kick everybody out’.  He then made a remark about taking advantage of everybody being in a good mood from a previous decision regarding the Telstra Tower to put up a 15% per annum rate increase ‘like some other Councils have’.  This went down like a lead balloon. Click on links below to get VOWW updates.

Newcastle Herald 10 December 2013: Wallalong Plan To Be Decided By State


Posted 31 October 2013

TRRA has been observing the actions of another Community Group at the other end of Port Stephens LGA called the ‘Voice Of Wallalong and Woodville’ and brief discussions have been held with them by some of our members.  At this point TRRA is not involved in this matter, but in the interests of keeping our members generally informed about major happenings in their LGA, and some of the disturbing revelations that these people have unearthed through freedom of information requests, we thought that we should share this information with you.

The group is a very active one and has a Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/wallalong.voww  with over 250 ‘Friends’ and their own website: HERE. The groups first newsletter is HERE 

You can follow the links, read their stories and draw your own conclusions about their concerns regarding this massive development, (6.5 sq. Kl. – 3,500 homes) but the revelations that interest TRRA in are in the documents they have posted about the money owed to our Council by the developers of  the project, ‘The Wallalong Land Owners Group’ and why it has not been paid.  They allege that this group includes a current Lord Mayor and a former NSW Govt. Minister, and pressure has been applied to PS Council to change their fee structure so these people can avoid their obligations.

If this is true then the ratepayers of Port Stephens have been done a major disservice by their own Council, this money could have been used for the benefit of all, instead it looks like it will be retained for the benefit of the developers and it appears that we have been giving them an interest free loan for some years. Who has been looking after who?

TRRA has been watching this story unfold for some time, there has not been much in the main stream media however we know that they know about it. We will keep our eye on it and try to keep you informed.

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