Year in review: December
Sawtell man arrested in Domino raid
IT WAS codenamed Strike Force Domino and, oh, how they fell.
Police say six drug distribution networks have been brought down as a result of the crackdown.
Headed by the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Targeting Squad, with assistance from the NSW Crime Commission, police commenced executing search warrants in homes and businesses in the early hours of December 8.
Anthony John Pinkstone is named as the Sawtell man arrested by police following the largest drug crime crackdown in NSW history.
The 52-year-old is alleged to be a major player in the Australian drug trade and was arrested in the Sydney suburb of Bexley.
Detectives seized a multi-million dollar Sawtell home at Heron Place, along with luxury cars and motorcycles believed to be owned by Pinkstone.
His bank accounts were frozen as the suspected proceeds of crime.
It is one of the largest single operations ever conducted by the State Crime Command.
Subdivision plan fury
PROPOSALS to develop a huge subdivision surrounding Hearnes Lake north of Sandy Beach stirred a hornet’s nest of fury among locals.
Councillors, planners, residents and environmentalists have united in a chorus of protest, saying the proposal contradicts all the other studies and planning done on the area and will prove the death knell for Hearnes Lake and a disaster for Sandy Beach.
The proposed subdivision, which if approved would yield multi-million dollar beachside lots on part of the site, was described as a ‘total disaster for lots of reasons’ by former Coffs Harbour City councillor Rod McKelvey.
A hastily-convened protest meeting, the first of several, attracted residents worried about everything from the effect on endangered species to flooding and from traffic to rising sea levels.
Protest organiser and Sandy Beach resident Jo Gaggin said the proposal was ‘a kicked in the guts for residents’.
“It’s outrageous – Sandy Beach will be completely destroyed,” she said.
“Everyone understood there were going to be 35 houses here and we had settled for that.”
City councillor Mark Graham said the area was largely a swamp and an independent ecologist, commissioned by the Department of Planning some years ago to review the proposal, had concluded it was highly inappropriate.
A spokesman for the Planning Department said the department was still assessing the concept plan application for the residential subdivision.