What is proposed?
Bundeena Coast eco lodge will deliver an environmentally friendly tourist attraction for individuals and small groups seeking nature oriented accommodation focused on peace and quiet while having every opportunity to explore and enjoy what the Royal National Park and the villages of Audley, Maianbar and Bundeena have to offer.
We made an application to the Office of Environment and Heritage, National Parks and Wildlife Services seeking access to the privately owned eco lodge land via an existing track through the Royal National Park.
Who made the decision to grant access?
The National Parks and Wildlife Service made the decision to grant the access.
Is a new road proposed through the Royal national Park to create the access?
No, what is proposed is the use of 440m of an existing sealed road in Royal National Park.
Is the eco lodge located in the Royal National Park or on land previously owned by the Government?
No, the eco lodge will be located on private land that was purchased in 2013 via a real estate agent on the open market. The land is private land previously owned by Scout Association. Prior to our purchase of the land, the land had been on the market for years. The land has not been in public ownership since the township of Bundeena was subdivided in the 19th century.
Is the access going to be a public road?
No, similar as the current situation the access will be restricted by a gate and for authorized vehicles only.
How will the eco lodge guests use the access?
As pedestrians. They will mainly arrive on foot via the ferry or as bushwalkers via the Royal National Park Coast Track.
Will the construction and operation of the eco lodge result in environmental destruction or unacceptable bushfire risks?
After careful consideration of the proposal by many experts – including ecology and bushfire – retained on behalf of the proponent and the Council, the proposal was improved and the final findings were presented as evidence to the Land and Environment Court during a full five day schedule of hearings. The Court issued judgement on the proposal on 31st March 2017. The Court’s decision includes the following:
“The proposal achieves an appropriate balance between the provision of appropriate bush fire protection measures and the conservation of the natural environment and it has been sensitively designed to complement and enhance the natural environment. The scale and nature of the proposal is consistent with the natural setting of the site.”
The eco lodge evacuates and/or is closed when the Royal National Park is closed due to bushfire danger.
Will the use and maintenance of the access result in environmental destruction of any Ecological Communities?
No, it is agreed by both ecology experts involved in the Court proceedings that the trimming of a relatively small amount of vegetation either side of the existing track will not have any significant effect on the existing ecological community.
Is the eco lodge site in Spring Gully pristine bushland?
No, the site is only the southern part of the complete gully landscape form. The north side of the same gully is residential development.
The flora and fauna in the whole gully has been impacted for decades by urban edge effects including runoff and urban stormwater and weeds.