Res­i­dents are see­ing red over petrol sta­tion De­vel­op­ment the sub­ject of Moonee protest

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - FRONT PAGE -

UNITED in red, the com­mu­nity of Moonee Beach gath­ered on the po­ten­tial site of a fu­ture petrol sta­tion to let the de­vel­op­ers know they say ‘no’.

Yes­ter­day, the Land and En­vi­ron­ment Court held a con­cil­i­a­tion hear­ing with Moonee Beach res­i­dents on the site next to a child­care cen­tre.

Five peo­ple spoke on be­half of the com­mu­nity, telling the court why they do not want the de­vel­op­ment to go ahead.

“This is not what Moonee Beach is, our vil­lage and our en­vi­ron­ment here isn’t about petrol sta­tions,” said Tim Chap­man, a com­mu­nity lo­cal and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Moonee Beach Ac­tion Group.

RES­I­DENTS are stand­ing to­gether to fight back against plans for a 24-hour ser­vice sta­tion and fast-food out­let at Moonee Beach.

The de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion, lodged by Gow­ings in 2016, went be­fore coun­cil­lors, who sup­ported the Moonee Beach Ac­tion Group unan­i­mously by vot­ing no to the process.

“As a re­sult, the de­vel­oper then ap­pealed that, which means the de­vel­op­ment goes to­ward the Land and En­vi­ron­ment Court,” group rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tim Chap­man said.

At the con­cil­i­a­tion hear­ing held yes­ter­day, the com­mu­nity rep­re­sented it­self with a cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple on-site.

“Each of these peo­ple are stand­ing be­hind the six pre­sen­ters that we’ve got and they’ve been cho­sen by the com­mu­nity to present the best ar­gu­ment,” Mr Chap­man said.

The speak­ers came from a wide cross-sec­tion with one thing in com­mon – they were all com­mu­nity mem­bers.

“We’ve got a range of peo­ple speak­ing from peo­ple with knowl­edge on par­tic­u­lar so­cial as­pects on this de­vel­op­ment and what it brings to the com­mu­nity, or what it doesn’t bring to the com­mu­nity, right through to peo­ple who are just com­mu­nity mem­bers,” he said.

“There are a cou­ple of re­ally strong points. First and fore­most is that the com­mu­nity has clearly said ‘no’ to this de­vel­op­ment in a num­ber of oc­ca­sions and on a num­ber of grounds.

“The sec­ond thing we brought up is that the coun­cil has also said ‘no’ and this de­vel­op­ment sits next to a child­care cen­tre.”

Mr Chap­man said the com­mu­nity was pas­sion­ate about Moonee Beach’s fu­ture.

“From here, the com­mu­nity will con­tinue their ev­ery­day life,” he said.

“They will con­tinue to op­er­ate and en­joy Moonee Beach, but we do it with a level of pas­sion that sees us drive what we want in our com­mu­nity rather than have de­vel­op­ers shape what should be in our com­mu­nity.”

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