A majority of Shoalhaven City councillors voted to condemn 'organised groups in Manyana who misrepresented council' regarding the Manyana buyback issue.
Council will now write to NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes to affirm it has no objection to a state government buyback of private land at Manyana.
At an ordinary meeting on Tuesday, April 27, Cr Bob Proudfoot's motion included a part which asked council to condemn 'organised groups in Manyana' who he claimed had misrepresented previous resolutions of council regarding the state government's desire to have said land in Manyana included as national park.
The successfully carried motion was in response to a April 3 community meeting organised by Red Head Villages Association (RVHA) which voted to censure eight Shoalhaven City Councillors who opposed the buyback.
RHVA is the Community Consultative Body recognised by council for Manyana, Cunjurong Point, Berringer, Bendalong and North Bendalong.
Some residents of Manyana, including a community group called Manyana Matters, have been protesting Ozy Homes plans to clear 20 hectares of mature forest, in order to make way for nearly 180 housing lots.
The forest is surrounded by the Conjola National Park and is one of the few local areas untouched by the bushfires.
Cr Proudfoot said he was incensed by an RHVA press release which he claimed misrepresented the eight councilors who were censored by the organisation, including Cr Proudfoot himself.
"Never once have I said that I do not support [a state government buyback]," he said.
He said it was the state government who planned the site for residential housing release so they should be fully liable for the cost of buying the site back.
He said council does not have the funds to contribute to a buyback of the site, and other sites like it if a precedent is set, whereas the state government does.
Cr John Levett unsuccessfully moved to remove the part of the motion which related to condemning community groups claiming it was an unnecessary personalisation of the issue.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes had said his department would provide half of the $4 million he had claimed would be necessary to buy back the property, with other state departments to pitch in a quarter. Shoalhaven City council was asked to provide the remaining $1 million.
FOR: Crs Gash, White, Wells, Guile, Pakes, Watson, Kitchener and Proudfoot
AGAINST: Crs Findley, Gartner, Digiglio, Alldrick and Levett