Peninsula may miss out on Crown Lands funding
The Peninsula seems unlikely to benefit from State Government funding to "maintain and improve" Crown Land, despite a call from Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch to apply.
"Crown Land managers - including community organisations, Councils and user groups seeking to maintain and improve Crown reserves and facilities - can now apply for funding under the NSW Government's Crown Reserves Improvement Fund," she said.
"I strongly encourage eligible applicants to apply for a total of around $16 million in funding through the Fund."
Central Coast Council manages Crown Land on the Peninsula, but does not appear to intend to apply for the funding.
The Peninsula's Crown Land is mainly foreshore reserves, but also includes the Council's Woy Woy depot, part of the Everglades lagoon system and the Burrawang bushland reserve in Hillview St as well as a large part of Blackwall Mountain.
One piece of Crown Land of almost three hectares at Woy Woy adjacent to the railway line has been identified as a priority by the Save Our Species program of the Office of Environment and Heritage for its endangered Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland, with a recommendation for "site-based weed control".
Another is the weed-infested old Sanitary Depot off Patonga Dr, surrounded by National Park, which was never restored to bushland after its use as a raw sewage dump.
Ms Tesch said: "These grants help maintain and upgrade reserves, and facilities on them, for residents' use and enjoyment, as well as to protect areas of important environmental land.
"Grants support weed and pest management projects to ensure we have healthy public reserves that help protect native plants and animals from invasive species."
However, in a statement on behalf of Central Coast Council chief executive Mr David Farmer, Peninsula News was told: "Council is not currently in a position to apply to the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund for the Crown Land at Woy Woy.
"While the site is not included in the Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland Endangered Ecological Community Restoration and Rehabilitation Management Plan, it is however likely that there are some patches of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland vegetation on the site along with other vegetation communities such as saltmarsh.
"Council officers have been in discussion with the Save Our Species team from the Department of Planning and Environment about the site.
"Further planning in consultation with the Saving Our Species Team is required prior to any vegetation management or bush regeneration works being undertaken including in the Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland patches.
"There are some priority actions, such as access control and the removal of a historically dumped car body, that Council is working towards implementing.
"Council is focusing on ensuring the first priorities and planning are undertaken.
"The Crown Reserves Improvement Fund, particularly the weed projects stream, is a potential source of funds that Council may investigate further once the planning has progressed towards completion."
The statement gave no indication of how long this work was expected to take.
Ms Tesch said that Crown reserves supported communities by protecting the environment and providing open spaces and facilities for parks, ovals, walking, cycling, camping and other sports and recreation activities.
"We all know the benefits that these reserves and facilities bring to our community and that a healthy community is a happy community."
Applications for the NSW Government's Crown Reserves Improvement Fund close on Friday, November 17.
Media release, 31 Oct 2023
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford