Lands and Property Minister Steve Kamper could offer no details as to why the full Hungry Point walkway could not proceed, when quizzed in the Budget Estimates hearing today.
Neither Marine Rescue NSW nor Minister Kamper have offered any explanation of what has changed since Marine Rescue lodged its expression of interest (EOI) for a training academy with the former Hungry Point Reserve Land Manager and its application with the Heritage Council for approval of the proposed academy.
In its EOI, Marine Rescue identified no issues at all with the walkway, already being familiar with the site having been present for several years by that time. In fact, it stated:
Marine Rescue NSW supports the State Government’s commitment to the construction of walking paths to link the Reserve to the Esplanade and Cronulla. The Academy proposal envisages that the existing coastal walkway will be extended, entering the Reserve site immediately to the north of the built precinct, linking Salmon Haul Reserve and Darook Park.
In addition, the walkaway will be extended to the southern-most point of the Reserve and again entering the built precinct connecting to Darook Park, enabling visitors to enjoy the views over Port Hacking.
Marine Rescue provided a traffic study to the Heritage Council which suggested an average of six vehicle movements a day at a boom gate on the driveway which will cross the proposed walkway. Its plans showed a walkway around the entire point.
Marine Rescue was quite prepared to co-exist with a walkway when it was seeking permission for a training academy. Now it relies on safety issues to stop the full walkway to go ahead. The Minister should do his job and demand an explicit answer to what has changed since.
The truth is that nothing appears to have changed, “safety” concerns are spurious and the Minister is looking allowing a grab of public land by Marine Rescue to go ahead.