Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has slammed the "abysmal" consultation over redevelopment at Killalea State Park, throwing his weight against the plans and calling for the area to be taken from the Reflections group and handed to National Parks.
It's a significant change for Mr Ward, who in 2019 announced a government grant of $6.5 million for campsite redevelopment and a conference centre developed by management group Reflections Holiday Parks.
After a furious outcry from residents against the plans, he said at the time he "couldn't understand where the aggro was coming from".
Mr Ward said he had believed the proposed development would not be undertaken without community support.
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Protest rallies and a giant paddle-out of almost 700 surfers may have convinced him the public were neither consulted nor supportive.
Mr Ward has written to Minister for Property Melinda Pavey saying that while the cabins still needed to be upgraded, a conference centre was not supported.
"Prior to the announcement, I was assured that there would be consultation with our community on the proposals put forward by Reflections Holiday Parks," he said.
"I was supportive of the grants on the basis that nothing would occur at Killalea without community support.
"Killalea was gifted to our community and our community feel strongly about its protection and preservation.
"The process of consultation undertaken by Reflections Holiday Parks has been nothing short of abysmal. The lack of clear communication and weak community engagement has only served to heighten frustration and anger amongst locals.
"It is my view that the community centre proposal is not supported by our local community and I am therefore requesting that this aspect of the upgrade not proceed."
Mr Ward said the existing cabins and campsite still needed upgrading, within the existing campsite footprint.
"Whilst there will be some elements of the community opposed to even this modest improvement, I believe these concerns are outweighed by the job opportunities and the fact that the campsite already exists," he said.
Mr Ward said the controversial second road in and out should be supported, and improvements made for better accessibility for seniors and people living with disability.
Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson called Mr Ward a "fair-weather friend of Killalea", who had taken various different positions on development over the past decade.
"Whilst I welcome Gareth's support of the community campaign, I'm wary of his timing," she said.