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NSW Liberals caught between a rock and a teal race

The Australian, 20 Dec 2022

Australian 20DEC22

At least four Liberal seats on Sydney’s Northern Beaches are under threat from teal independent candidates who plan to target a massive 450-dwelling housing estate proposed by an Aboriginal land council under controversial planning laws introduced by the ­Perrottet government.

Despite fierce objections from local residents and the Northern Beaches Council, plans for the 71-hectare Lizard Rock site in Belrose are being fast-tracked under new rules promoted by NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts that allow Indigenous-owned projects to bypass local council approval.

Environment lawyer Jacqui Scruby, who ran Ms Scamp’s campaign and has the backing of Simon Holmes a Court’s fundraising group Climate 200, will run as the teal candidate for Pittwater, currently held by retiring Infrastructure Minister Rob Stokes.

“One of the biggest things that activate the community is that there’s a special beauty up here that people want to preserve,” Ms Scruby said.

“The community is loud and clear: they don’t want this devel­opment, which keeps popping its head up with the same issues it had previously: the incredibly high bushfire risk and the loss of conservation zones to make way for residential zones.

“Party politics means that representatives such as Rob Stokes are very limited and hamstrung in terms of the advocacy and how they can determine things in a party setting.”

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