Mayor says temple has backing of NSW Premier

PREMIER Barry O’Farrell has thrown his support behind the Shaolin Temple proposal at Falls Creek.

Mr O’Farrell, along with Planning Minister Brad Hazzard, met with representatives of Shoalhaven City Council and the temple proposal to discuss the development earlier this week.

Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said she believed the development would go ahead, with the Premier making a commitment to the project after hearing the group’s presentation.

Deputy mayor John Wells, general manager Russ Pigg and director of planning and development Tim Fletcher and Shaolin representatives Patrick Pang and Phil Balding joined the mayor in the meeting.

“We were able to meet with the Premier and point out the delays and in the end he made a commitment to the project, as far as he is concerned, unless something really comes up that we really don’t expect. The chief planner was in the meeting and he said all the issues had been resolved,” Cr Gash told radio station 2ST.

“The minister Mr Hazzard will be meeting on a weekly basis with the planning department to make sure the development application can be approved so it can go to the Joint Regional Planning Panel for final resolution.

“Personally, I think we will see this project proceed. Of course you can never guarantee anything, but the Premier is very committed to the project, he understands the importance to the Shoalhaven as we do.”

She said Mr Hazzard was not across all the issues with the development but certainly was by the end of the meeting.

“This is wonderful for the region, not just the Shoalhaven,” Cr Gash said.

“The traffic issues have been addressed with the Shaolin Temple agreeing to do what the RMS has requested and as far as we are concerned it’s full steam ahead.”

The proposal comprises a Buddhist temple sanctuary complex, kung-fu academy, 500-bed four-star hotel, commercial shopping precinct and community centre and permanent housing residential development.

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