Conference Overview

Environmental Planning, Consultation and Transparency are integral topics regarding contraversial issues in the Illawarra and beyond.

Such topics can include a lack of:

  • stringent environmental assessments for major projects,
  • genuine notification and involvement for those who will be affected by proposals, along with
  • genuine provision of information and eventual real understanding as to the decision making process.

An example relates to the fact that although Wollongong Airport has been advertised as undertaking a major transformation council have consistently avoided environmental impact statements (EIS) along with genuine notification procedures even for those who reside in the unacceptable noise zone.

Although EIS procedures and a Commission of inquiry occurred for the proposed Marina located in Shellharbour its relevant council recently amended the proposal leading to community members to content that the changes are so significantly different to the original design that there is a necessity to undertake a new application and environmental assessment procedures.

In many cases the state government is involved in such issues as the eventual decision making body. Many community members have also submitted requests for investigations into contraversial issues with state government Minsters and departments as well as the independent commission against corruption (ICAC) in the hope that matters of concern will be solved.

Federal governments also play a part regarding such issues either as a financial support or a regulator. Wollongong Airport is a prime example.

In many cases, such as Sandon Point, the issues are so complex that time and understanding are needed prior to discussing problems.

The aim of the conference is to bring together people from a diversity of areas and issues of concern in order to discuss facts, analyse problems, and offer possible solutions.

Futher information regarding issues within the community can be found at www.epaust.info/index.html. The issues and links page will be added to during the next week.