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|Camberwell common fight not over yet - 07 May, 2010|
|07 May, 2010 11:01 AM
THE fight for the Camberwell common is not over with residents still hoping the Environmental Defender’s Office will come to their aid after the community management of the village common was revoked. The community organisation is reviewing the case and will consider taking legal action if it meets with their guidelines.
The licence for access and grazing of the 200 acre parcel of land was handed over to Ashton Coal last month, taking a piece of Camberwell history along with it.
Colin Stapleton, Camberwell resident and one of the trustees of the common had been given two weeks to get his nine head of cattle off the land.
He said he will sell most next week, but will keep a few remaining cattle that he will graze on the 25 acres of land they were given access to as compensation for losing the common.
Upper Hunter member George Souris said he believed there was a conflict of interest over the Camberwell common as the NSW Minister for Lands is also the Minister for Planning, and is currently assessing a development application by Ashton Coal for mine extensions.
“The minister in granting the licence for access to the Common, a critical part of the extension application, is pre-empting his approval as Minister of Planning,” he said.
“This raises serious questions about the integrity of the Planning process.”
He said commons were a vital ‘breathing’ space for the community and were just as important today as ever.
“I believe it should be a priority of the Government to acquire and dedicate a replacement Common in the near vicinity,” he said.