The Hon. Rob Stokes
Minister for Planning
C/- Parliament House Sydney
Dear Mr. Stokes,
Please accept this copy of an informal survey of the scarred trees of Riverlands Golf Course at Milperra which was submitted to Bankstown City Council in June. The report indicates the likely significance of the area as an aboriginal site worthy of full protection. At Riverlands Golf Course, and along nearby parts of the river corridor, some of the largest and oldest trees in Bankstown can be found, containing numerous hollows and wildlife habitat opportunities, as well as suspected aboriginal tree scars, as the document portrays. Similar groupings of trees in Bankstown, given decades of clearing for urban and industrial development, do not occur outside this area.
In June Bankstown City Council voted to rezone the land from Private Recreation to permit residential development. Despite being in possession of the report, BCC ignored it when making its recommendations re the rezoning application, referring only to a flawed Aboriginal Heritage Study undertaken at the site by Archaeological & Heritage Management Solutions. The only field inspection for this was conducted by the Gandangarra Local Aboriginal Land Council on a single wet day, and failed to note the presence of any aboriginal heritage items, including scarred trees.
In light of the additional information supplied in the BBS report, but ignored, we contend that the decision to rezone was based on inadequate information, and that the issue of rezoning should not be considered until a proper investigation can take place. It is therefore essential that further studies be undertaken to assess the proper significance of Riverlands as a site of past aboriginal occupation. In light of this, the rezoning application for Riverlands Golf Course from Bankstown City Council should be set aside and reconsidered at a more appropriate time.
Bankstown Bushland Society