Catherine Hill Bay – 2008
The East coast of Australia, which once comprised the kind of seaside townships and communities on which much of the nation’s identity has been built is at risk. As huge, lego-land style housing and resort developments suffocate once sleepy coastal hideaways, threatening the heritage, beauty and character of Eastern Australia, the Community of Catherine Hill Bay on the NSW Central Coast is one of the last bastions.
Two proposed development at Catherine Hill Bay which combined would increase the number of houses in the picturesque former coal mining town from 100 to 1000. The NSW (ex) Planning Minister Frank Sartor rubber stamped one development – 600 houses to be built by Rosegroup, three days before being sacked by the new Premier Nathan Rees. The second proposal, a further 300 houses to be built by Coal & Allied (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto which prides itself on its environmental record) hangs in the balance.
The NSW State Labor Government seems intent on bowing to big developers, many of whom provide significant donations to the party. The former Planning Minister has ruled over the Local Councils decision, The Land and Environment Court as well as an expert panel created to assess such decisions. The Federal Government refuses to intervene.
This series looks at the people, many of whom have lived there their entire lives and the environment of the historic town of Catherine Hill Bay prior to impending development.