Gosford Council LEP Response

UPDATE

  

Thank You for Your Prayers and Support - We are more than halfway!

Please forward this page to all those who showed so much dedication and support!

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are pleased to report that in place of the prohibition of places of public worship, Gosford City Council, in support of the monasteries’ submission, voted unanimously to place the lands containing our two Monasteries in a Special Purposes Zone. This will ensure that the monasteries can continue to carry out their sacred task and to develop without the threat of being a “prohibited use”.

 

We would like to thank all those who assisted in this matter and pray that our Lord bless them abundantly. Over 3,000 people used the automatic protest letter which sent letters to each Councillor and several Ministers. This equates to a total of 48,000 letters. An extra 1,900 people downloaded the letters and sent them direct to Councillors and Ministers. A great number of people, known and unknown to us, including many politicians and journalists, lobbied directly. We extend our deep gratitude and appreciation to all.

 

An important step forward has been achieved, but the process is by no means complete. The draft LEP will now be sent to the Hon. Bradley Hazzard, MP, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, for final approval; this process could take months.

 

We ask all the faithful to join us in prayer so that the next important step in the process can also be successful. We may need your support again. Please allow us to keep in contact with you and provide you with important updates over the next few months. If you are willing to allow us to send you updates on this important matter please CLICK HERE or visit our website from time to time.

 

Prayerfully Yours,

 

Pantanassa Monastery
567 Mangrove Creek Rd, Mangrove Creek, NSW 2250
t: (02) 4374 1060  f: (02) 4374 1422 e: pantanassa@cci.net.au

Holy Cross Monastery
Lot 1, Holy Cross Rd, Mangrove Mountain, NSW 2250
P.O. Box 1799, Gosford, N.S.W. 2250
t: (02) 4374 1657  f: (02) 4374 1750 e: holycrossmonastery@bigpond.com w: (not available as yet)

 

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  IMPORTANT UPDATE - MAY 31, 2011 (4:00PM) (CLICK HERE)

 

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

   We need your urgent assistance - action is needed prior to Tuesday 31 May 2011! 

 Please forward this page to as many people as possible! 

 

 After many years of hard work and fundraising, and with the support of all the Greek Orthodox Australian faithful of NSW and other States, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has been developing two Monasteries on the Central Coast of NSW: Pantanassa Monastery at Mangrove Creek and Holy Cross Monastery at Mangrove Mountain. At the time of purchase of these lands, the construction of a monastery, including a church was permissible within the current zones, and on this basis the lands were purchased and the monasteries planned.

 

 NOW, Gosford Council is proposing to eliminate "places of public worship" from the zones on which the Monasteries are located under its "Gosford Draft LEP 2009". This means that future development and expansion of the monasteries, including construction of new churches, is threatened and may not be permissible on monastery lands. 

  We have:

1. made detailed submissions to Council opposing the proposed change to the zoning - these have been rejected! and

2. asked Council to acknowledge the monasteries future development needs by placing the monasteries in the SP1 'Special Activities Zone' which would allow for development of the monasteries with Council consent based on merit considerations - this too was rejected!

On Monday 23 May 2011 we were informed that Council plans to consider the adoption of the "Gosford Draft LEP 2009" on Tuesday 31 May 2011!

 How can you help?

You can help by sending one of the automated email letters we have prepared for you to all of the relevant Councillors and Ministers at simply the click of one button:

1. Select ONLY ONE of the letters below;

2. Fill in the form at the bottom of the letter with your full details - this is very important; and

3. Press the 'send email now' button. (EACH PERSON MUST SEND 1 LETTER ONLY, PLEASE DO NOT SEND MULTIPLE LETTERS IN ONE NAME).

 

We must act before TUESDAY 31 MAY 2011 and let Councillors and State Government Ministers know that we are very upset and disappointed with this whole matter! You may also write directly to the relevant Councillors and Ministers, see below for contact details.

 

To find your local State MP CLICK HERE

 

We thank you in advance for your support and pray that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ bless you and your families.

 

Prayerfully Yours,

Pantanassa Monastery
567 Mangrove Creek Rd, Mangrove Creek, NSW 2250
t: (02) 4374 1060  f: (02) 4374 1422 e: pantanassa@cci.net.au

Holy Cross Monastery
Lot 1, Holy Cross Rd, Mangrove Mountain, NSW 2250
P.O. Box 1799, Gosford, N.S.W. 2250
t: (02) 4374 1657  f: (02) 4374 1750 e: holycrossmonastery@bigpond.com w: (not available as yet)

 

Mayor
Councillor Laurie Maher
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Office: 4325 8361 
Mobile: 0408 439 179 Fax: 4323 6268

Email:  laurie.maher@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Deputy Mayor
Councillor Craig Doyle
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Office: - 
  Mobile: 0408 432 753  Fax: 4385 7796
Email:  craig.doyle@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Chris Burke
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Mobile: 0401 717 555    Fax: 4323 6268
Email:  chris.burke@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Peter Freewater
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Mobile: 0407 400 508   Fax: 4323 6268

Email:  peter.freewater@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Amy Houston
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250
Phone: 0434 223 228   
Fax: 4323 6268
Email:  amy.houston@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Terri Latella
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250
Mobile: 0439 488 037   
Fax: 4323 6268
Email:  terri.latella@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Jim Macfadyen
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Mobile: 0408 490 130   Fax: 4323 6268

Email:  jim.macfadyen@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Chris Holstein
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250
Mobile: 0418 432 731   Fax: 4323 6268
Email:  chris.holstein@gosford.nsw.gov.au
In his capacity as Member for Gosford:
Phone (02) 4342 4122 Fax (02) 4341 2368
Email:  gosford@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Vicki Scott
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Mobile: 0418 699 350   Fax: 4329 6367
Email:  vicki.scott@gosford.nsw.gov.au

Councillor Jeff Strickson
PO Box 21 Gosford 2250

Mobile: 0407 013 599   Fax: 4323 6268
Email:  jeff.strickson@gosford.nsw.gov.au

HON BRAD HAZZARD
Minister for Planning and Infrastructure and Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW
In his capacity as Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW:
Phone (02) 9228 5258    Fax (02) 9228 5721
Email:  office@hazzard.minister.nsw.gov.au
In his capacity as Member for Wakehurst:
Phone (02) 9981 1111     Fax (02) 9981 5059
Email:  brad.hazzard@parliament.nsw.gov.au

MICHAEL LEAVEY
Regional Director, Hunter and Central Coast Region, Department of Planning and Infrastructure
PO Box 1148, Gosford NSW 2250
Email:  michael.leavey@planning.nsw.gov.au

HON CHRIS HARTCHER
Minister for Resources and Energy
Special Minister of State
Minister for the Central Coast
In his capacity as Minister for Resources and Energy, Special Minister of State, and Minister for the Central Coast:
Phone (02) 9228 5289 Fax (02) 9228 3448
Email:  office@hartcher.minister.nsw.gov.au
In his capacity as Member for Terrigal:
Phone (02) 4365  Fax (02) 4365 4768
Email:  terrigal@parliament.nsw.gov.au

HON CHRIS HOLSTEIN
In his capacity as Member for Gosford:
Phone (02) 4342 4122  Fax (02) 4341 2368
Email:  gosford@parliament.nsw.gov.au

HON BARRY O'FARRELL
Premier and Minister for Western Sydney - Liberal Party member
Phone 9228 5239 Fax 9228 3935
Email: office@premier.nsw.gov.au

Letter 1 (click to see letter)

This letter can be downloaded here.

Dear Elected Representative

GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA
PANTANASSA AND HOLY CROSS GREEK ORTHODOX MONASTERIES

I have been informed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese that Gosford Council under its "Gosford Draft LEP 2009" (dLEP) proposes to eliminate "places of public worship" from the zones in which the Monasteries are located. I understand submissions opposing this have been rejected and requests that the monasteries be included in ‘Special Activities Zones' (SP1) have been ignored.

At the time of purchase of these lands, the construction of a place of public worship was permissible; the lands were purchased and the monasteries planned on that basis.

Gosford Council's proposal to eliminate "places of public worship" from the zones on which the Monasteries are located threatens future development of the monasteries.

These monasteries are a result of decades of hard work of thousands of Australians of Greek descent. Greek Orthodox monasteries are rare in Australia. There are only three monasteries in all of New South Wales and their locations were carefully selected. These monasteries are the pride and joy of all Greek Orthodox Australians.

I am concerned that the purpose and function of Greek Orthodox monasteries may have been misunderstood by Council. Orthodox monasteries are places of prayer and contemplation. Monks and nuns who join the monasteries do so for life; they seldom travel out of their monastery. The monasteries benefit the wider church and the whole world by their prayer and by providing examples of Christian life. They do not have congregations and are not places of religious instruction. Orthodox monasteries therefore generate minimal traffic and have minimal impact on the local community.

Sustainability and care for the environment are fundamental principles of Orthodox monastic life. Our monasteries have done their utmost to minimise their impact on the environment. Their bush regeneration programs are an example. Ironically, the dLEP includes mining as a permissible use for lands in the same zonings as the Monasteries.

LEPs are meant to create certainty for communities and their developments. However, this Draft LEP has retrospective effect, by potentially stifling the future development of an important work that was commenced based on existing laws.

I strongly request Gosford Council and the New South Wales Government to reconsider this matter. At a minimum, the presence of both monasteries and the decades-long work of Greek Orthodox Australians should be acknowledged by placing the monasteries in a ‘Special Activities Zone', which would allow for development of the monasteries with Council consent based on merit considerations.

I hope that a solution securing the future development of the monasteries and their churches can be achieved. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

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Letter 2 (click to see letter)

This letter can be downloaded here.

Dear Elected Representative

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

PANTANASSA AND HOLY CROSS MONASTERIES

I write to you as a concerned voter in relation to the "Gosford Draft LEP 2009".

I have been informed by the above Greek Orthodox Monasteries that Gosford City Council is implementing a Draft Local Environmental Plan (dLEP). The dLEP proposes to eliminate "places of public worship" from the future zones in which the Monasteries are located.

I am writing to you in order that you might make representations on my behalf and to object strongly to this rezoning as it will have negative effects on established places of public worship, like the above Monasteries. The Monasteries did request to be placed in a Special Activities Zone (SP1), but this too was ignored and no reasons were given.

I understand the Council’s underlying reasons for the rezoning but the purpose of the dLEP does not really clash with the objectives of the monasteries. For instance, the objectives of the Special Activities Zone SP1 seem to suit perfectly the monasteries.

Greek Orthodox Monasteries are very rare. There are only three in New South Wales. The above Monasteries were established with the support thousands of Australians of Greek descent, and have been a long term project for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. I am very disappointed to hear that an entire community’s project can be jeopardized so easily.

Notwithstanding that the Monasteries will retain so-called "existing use" under the provisions of the Environmental Planning an Assessment Act there will always be the threat that no future expansion of the monasteries will be permissible.

My request is that you make representation both to the Council and to the Minister to ensure that that Gosford City Council reconsiders this matter and that the State Government takes definitive steps to ensure that the future of these monastery projects are safeguarded.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

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