Local government election: Labor pledge to save land at 109 Foreshore Drive

PROTECTION: Port Stephens mayoral candidate Leah Anderson says if elected she would work to protect 109 Foreshore Drive from developers. Picture: Supplied
PROTECTION: Port Stephens mayoral candidate Leah Anderson says if elected she would work to protect 109 Foreshore Drive from developers. Picture: Supplied

Port Stephens mayoral candidate Leah Anderson has made a commitment, if elected, to protect the controversial parcel of Foreshore Drive land.

The property - at 109 Foreshore Drive, Corlette - is owned by Port Stephens Council and is currently listed as 'operational land', which means it is not protected from developers and is subject to being sold off.

The block, located close to the beach offering beautiful water views, is an important piece of koala habitat, with koalas regularly photographed on the site

The land has gone before the council three times in an attempt to have it listed as 'community land', now Ms Anderson says that if elected she would set the wheels in motion to keep the land in community hands and protected from developers.

"I have heard loud and clear from the local community that they want this land to be classified as community land. It needs to be protected from developers," Ms Anderson said.

"Cr John Nell has led the charge for years trying to convince this council to do the right thing, but they have knocked him back. He has had huge community support behind him every time.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this land must be protected going forward. I will move a motion at the first Council meeting, to sort this mess out and put 109 Foreshore Drive into community hands."

Labor's west ward councillor Giacomo Arnott said that he had backed Cr Nell to the hilt on this issue, fighting to have this land reclassified and protected. "There is a group of councillors who have refused to protect this koala habitat and vital piece of community land."

The ALP team is also making green bins a reality for homes across the Port.

"A third, green bin is one option council is considering in its new draft waste management strategy. We've been listening to the community and it's clear that they want green bins. My team will start the process and make green bins in Port Stephens a reality," she said.

"I know how frustrating it is to mow the lawn or trim some trees and to very quickly run out of space in the red bin. This policy will make managing household waste easier."

Green bins for grass clippings, leaves and bark, landfill reduction and a better outcome from the Bedminister waste system have all been placed under the spotlight as part of the draft waste management strategy that will service Port Stephens for the next 20 years.

The concept has been supported by both Cr Arnott and central ward candidate Jason Wells.

"If council doesn't make it easy to sort and remove waste, then material that could be recycled won't be," Mr Wells said.

There are two places in Port Stephens where residents can vote in person early: at the returning office at 42 William Street, Raymond Terrace and All Saints Anglican Church, Nelson Bay. Both are open Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm.

Voting will be available at select public schools and community halls around Port Stephens on Saturday, December 4 between 8am and 6pm.

Results in all NSW local government elections will be delivered progressively between December 21-23.

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