Royal National Park land plea goes to Premier

Wollongong City councillors became involved in an extended debate last night on whether to write a letter to the state government.

A motion by Greens councillor Jill Merrin asked for the council to write to Environment Minister Robyn Parker to ask government to buy 360 hectares of land between Helensburgh, Lilyvale and Otford for inclusion in the Royal National Park.

The land is scheduled to go to auction on Saturday.

At last night's meeting, Cr Merrin commended general manager David Farmer for writing to the minister but said the council had to raise the issue "at a political level".

"It's a really important block of land for environmental reasons," Cr Merrin said.

Cr Leigh Colacino opposed the motion; he said he was unsure why council had been asked to write a letter to the minister when Mr Farmer had done so only to be told that the government did not have the money to buy the land.

Greens councillor George Takacs recommended the council write to Premier Barry O'Farrell instead.

"I see no reason for not pursuing, as strongly as we can, the addition of this land to the national park," he said.

The motion to write to the Premier was approved; councillors Colacino and Bede Crasnich opposed it.

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