Randwick City Council has resolved not to offer an area containing Aboriginal heritage items in a land swap proposed by Botany Cemetery to better protect the adjacent La Perouse Chinese Market Gardens.
A majority of Councillors removed a reference to the Bumborah Point land from the proposed deal with the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust.
The swap would have seen the Bumborah Point site and some unused Council roads swapped for a presently uncultivated farm lot on the market site presently controlled by the Trust.
The Bumborah Point land contains Aboriginal shelters, middens and rock carvings listed on the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Aboriginal Heritage Inventory Management System registry.
Greens Councillors Lindsay Shurey and Murray Matson voted with a majority of Councillor to remove the reference to Bumborah Point.
A rescission motion has since been lodged against this resolution by Liberal Councillors Nash, Roberts and Stavrinos along with independent Councillor Anthony Andrews. This means that the matter will have to be debated again at the next Randwick Council meeting.
Councillor Matson also requested that clauses be added into the final resolution to respond to an erosion threat now posed to the market gardens from the removal of vegetation from adjacent Hill 60 by Sydney Water.
RANDWICK COUNCIL RESOLUTION OVER PROPOSED LAND SWAP OF BUMBORAH POINT AND CHINESE MARKET GARDEN LAND:
- Council commence discussions with all stakeholders including Crown Land, OEH, LALC, utility agencies, service providers and SMCT to identify all issues affecting the proposed Botany Cemetery expansion into Military Road and the unformed Crown Road and the feasibility of addressing these issues;
- Council commences consultations with Crown Lands Department on the future operation and ownership of the Chinese Market Gardens site and the proposed transfer of the unformed Crown road on the southern side of Botany Cemetery to form part of the Cemetery; and
- the findings on the discussions/consultations with the stakeholders and agencies be reported to Council for Council to consider its in-principle support for the Botany Cemetery expansion proposal as detailed in the SMCT Briefing Document.
- (that Council initiate, as a matter of urgency, discussions with the relevant State authority with the intent of stabilizing the de-vegetated northern slope of Hill 60 to better protect the historical and agricultural value of the Chinese market gardens
- Mr Fred Haskins be invited to make a submission to Council on the feasibility and advantages of using mechanical de-weeding techniques on the Chinese Market Gardens site rather than herbicide based techniques; and
- Council arrange a forum between the Councillors and the Farmers’ Association on the issue of the Chinese Market gardens.