PO Box 3024, Hilltop NSW 2575 T: 0411 274 708 W: www.stophilltop.com
Media Release – Tuesday, 24th November 2009
Hilltop Locals Beat 3A
Following their victory today (24 Nov 09) in the NSW Land and Environment Court, the local community of Hilltop in the NSW Southern Highlands continues to call on the State Government to find a new location for the planned major shooting range in the area.
The Hilltop Residents Action Group has been calling on the NSW Government to choose between other sites put forward which are less environmentally sensitive and without expensive problems with noise, access road safety, bushfire risk and proximity to a community.
Today’s decision by the NSW Land and Environment Court will be a blow to the NSW Shooters Party which had been promised by the NSW Government the hugely expanded facility in return for its support to pass important government legislation in the NSW Legislative Council.
The NSW Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally had approved the Southern Highlands Regional Shooting Complex in February under the controversial part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The project was to be funded with nearly $10 million of taxpayers’ money.
Local residents at Hilltop were incensed at the lack of consultation and consideration of alternative sites for the project and took action in the NSW Land Environment Court to stop it.
Justice Biscoe today declared the governmental approval of the project under the controversial 3A legislation void and prohibited further work on the development.
“This is a resounding victory for local people against the bulldozing tactics of the NSW Government and the Shooters Party,’ said Hilltop Residents Action Group spokeswoman, Jodie Laing.
“The plain fact is that this development is too big, too close to Hilltop and too dangerous. The shooting range would deliver thousands of tonnes of lead into Sydney’s water catchment and disrupt the lives of local residents including the kids at the local primary school,” Ms Laing added.
The Hilltop Residents Action Group has provided a myriad of alternative locations for the shooting range, all of which the NSW Government has refused to consider.
The court’s decision is also another blow to the NSW Government’s fondness for using Part 3A of the EPA Act to push through pet projects in the face of opposition from local communities.
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES, CONTACT: Louise Di Francesco, Verve Communications – 0418 617 869 ###
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