THE developers of the $360 million Shaolin Temple project at Falls Creek remain committed to the project and have no plans to walk away.
Earlier this week it was reported the developers may take the project overseas after Roads and Maritime Services demanded construction of a $20 million flyover bridge at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Forest Road at Falls Creek.
But project accountant, Phil Balding said the developers remain committed to the project and are currently in negotiations with the RMS over access to the area.
“The abbot remains committed to the project,” Mr Balding said.
“He is not walking away.
“He is committed to the project and is definitely going to see it through.
“We are in discussion with RMS in relations to access to the Princes Highway from both Comberton Grange Road and Forest Road.
“Hopefully the matters will be resolved shortly.
“We still hope to have final approval by Christmas.”
Mr Balding said the abbot has been fully informed about what is happening.
He said developments such as this are approved a lot faster in China.
“The abbot has express disappointment with the time it is taking, but he appreciates the processes,” Mr Balding said.
“It has all been explained to him and he is aware we are working with the agencies to resolve the issues.”
Mr Balding said there are also issues with the Office of Environment and Heritage over a proposed count of possible hollow trees on the site.
“We are also in discussion over this,” Mr Balding said.
“We were originally told it may cover the whole 3000 acre property but we are hoping that may now just be the 30 hectares on which the development will be located.
“And that is on the old pine plantation.
Mr Balding said these issues were just little road blocks.
“We are working with the government agencies to resolve the issues and hopefully they be finalised shortly,” he said.
“Council has been fully briefed as to where we are at.”
Mr Balding said the group was also asked to justify that there were no koalas in the location.
“We are still working towards hopefully gaining approval by Christmas,” he said.
“And if that happens it will set other mechanisms into place.
“If we gain approval of our conceptual plans by the Department of Planning we then have to apply to Shoalhaven City Council for various development applications and that will take some time.
“But as soon as we get approval we will start to fence the place and generally start work.
“I don’t think these government agencies realise we are not a developer in the true sense of the word.
“We are not developers with a big pile of cash – we are a not-for-profit organisation.
“We can’t sell any of the blocks of land or any of the land to recoup any funds because part of the deal is it must stay under the one title.”
Mr Balding said the temple had the ability to inject significant funds into the Shoalhaven economy.
“It is estimated it will inject $250 million per year into the Shoalhaven economy and provide 2000 full time jobs once completed,” he said.