Elders lodge injunction on subdivision

Garby elders are opposing plans to see the Arrawarra Caravan Park redeveloped into a residential estate.
Garby elders are opposing plans to see the Arrawarra Caravan Park redeveloped into a residential estate. Trevor Veale

"OUR people have been here for thousands of years, that's why we have to stop this from going ahead."

That's the resolve of Garby elder Tony Dootson who fears sacred sites will be decimated if a proposed 24-lot subdivision of Arrawarra Beach Holiday Park goes ahead.

In a move to stop it, the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation has submitted an injunction to Coffs Harbour City Council that is currently considering Astoria Group's plans.

Astoria's management says several studies have been undertaken by the Office of Environment and Heritage and the proposal satisfied cultural and environmental guidelines.

But Mr Dootson believes inspections failed to record scar trees, fish traps, and other sacred sites on the banks of the Arrawarra Creek that could be destroyed if a development, including the construction of new roads, goes ahead.

"We weren't consulted so there's no local knowledge that's gone into the proposal," he said.

"The park is a registered Aboriginal site and adjacent land is carbon-dated to over 2000 years."

"The DA should never have gone through. In my eyes money talks volumes."

Following the injunction, the council yesterday referred the development back to the OEH to re-examine the proposal's impact on cultural sites.

A copy of the application has also been sent to the Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Three Aboriginal sites were discovered by the OEH inspectors within 200m of the project site during initial studies of the park.

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