A CONTROVERSIAL 136,000 plot cemetery, proposed for Campbelltown’s Scenic Hills at Varroville, has been rejected.
Campbelltown Council last night overwhelmingly said no.
Only mayor Clinton Mead and deputy mayor Paul Lake supported the cemetery, opposed by the rest of the councillors — including the Liberal and Labor blocs.
Jacqui Kirkby of the Scenic Hills Association called it ‘‘a win for common sense’’.
But she said the councillors needed to stop giving mixed signals, and draw a firm line in the sand that the hills were untouchable.
‘‘The only way to stop [developers with unsuitable proposals] is for the Council to make it very, very clear that they are not going to consider changes.
‘‘Otherwise this will continue to divide the community.’’
The Catholic Cemeteries Trust proposed spending $30million to build two chapels, an office, landscaped parklands and walking tracks as part of the five-stage plan.
The Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust said today it is disappointed.
"We continue to believe that the creation of new cemetery parklands in Varroville will alleviate the impending shortage of burial sites in Sydney and be a very light touch on the colonial landscape of the Scenic Hills," a spokesman said.
"We are considering our options for the next step in the approvals process."
Ironically, Catholic nuns and friars of the Varroville monastery have been among the opponents.
Father Greg Burke said it would be ‘‘the beginning of the end of the Scenic Hills’’.
At last night’s council meeting, Labor’s Meg Oates said if the Scenic Hills were taken away, they would be taken away forever.
Liberal Paul Hawker said he did not want Varroville to become ‘‘the dumping ground of the Sydney basin’s dead’’, and expressed concerns that sterilisation of the land would open the door to more CSG mining on the site.
Independent Sue Dobson said a growing city ‘‘needed’’ areas of biodiversity.
Indepedent Fred Borg had told the voters of Campbelltown he would protect the hills, so he said he was merely keeping his promise.
Cr Lake also went to the alst election promising to protect the hills, but voted in favour of the cemetery.
He held the view that it would preserve the rural outlook of the hills — ‘‘no housing, no business park’’.
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