BBQ bonding in Bonville

BONVILLE residents bonded over the barbecue at last Sunday’s Beautiful Bonville get-together in Bongil Bongil National Park.

One of the organisers said the meeting was mainly for people involved in the Bonville Action Group to catch up and think about the next steps in the process.

Resident Alan Melbourne said the ‘very informal’ gathering was a social event for locals as well as an opportunity to plan for the future and to talk about how people felt about rural residential development of the area.

“Some people even at the meeting thought the approval for rezoning for rural residential development meant that the urban developments around the Bonville Golf Club had been approved.”

Mr Melbourne said looking at the number of hectares golf club staff had to mow regularly and the amount of fuel involved, he had written to the owner of the Bonville Golf Club, Peter Montgomery, suggesting it would be a great thing if he could put in an oil seed plantation on the rural land he owned around the club and become the first self-sustaining golf club in the world in terms of fuel.

He said there were oil crops which could be grown in this climate, like castor (oil) beans.

Mr Melbourne said he was trying to discover if there had been any survey for Aboriginal sites or relics in the area and what agricultural activities had taken place on the land in the past, including bean growing.

He said that in the 1960s mercury was used as a pickle for bean seeds, a procedure which contaminated bean growing areas.

Cr Rodney Degens, a long-term Bonville resident, was among those attending the barbecue.

Another long-term Bonville resident, Barry Lee, said at least some residents were feeling despondent at the progress of development in their area.

Bonville residents are also sympathetic to the Save Our Spaces movement, which is encouraging Coffs Harbour residents to put in submissions to council’s Draft Open Space Strategy and Draft Sports Facilities Plan. They mounted a display of photographs of community reserves at the barbecue.

Submissions to this strategy close today, June 4.

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