Concerned Kiama residents meet council over proposed service station

A large number of Kiama Downs residents are making their feelings known about a proposed service station in the area. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

A large number of Kiama Downs residents are making their feelings known about a proposed service station in the area. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

ALTHOUGH concerns remain about a proposal to build a petrol station in the area, residents will soon be able to further voice their opinion.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler has emphasised the council is not pursuing a fast food outlet and fellow councillor Warren Steel said he would "fight to the death" to stop one.

A long-time councillor and Bombo resident, Mr Steel said he was surprised by the "hysteria" within the community about the proposal.

"I've been on council 18 years; I reckon the majority of the people have been pushing for another service station," he said.

"I think it's an ideal spot for a service station . . . [but] I wouldn't support it for fast food, no way.

"I'd fight to the death against any fast food whatsoever."

At the April council meeting, a report was tabled about the possible site for a service station on RailCorp-owned land at the corner of North Kiama Bypass and Riverside Drive, Bombo.

Two concept plans were prepared by Martin Morris Jones; one involving only a service station, and the other a service station and fast-food outlet.

The council endorsed the forwarding of a concept plan (which confirms the land can be physically developed for a service station) to Property NSW.

Cr Petschler said while the council would not pursue a fast-food outlet, it had been a priority to establish a further fuel outlet which may include a convenience store.

On May 18, a Facebook group called Save Kiama Downs from Petrol & Fast Food Giants was established.

It attracted more than 1000 "likes" in a matter of days.

"This type of development does not belong in Kiama Downs," a post on the page reads.

"We are NOT against a third service station in the Kiama area, and we are not in a fight against the people that support having one.

"However, we ARE fighting for the right of the community to have their say about WHERE they think that service station should be."

However, other comments supported the need for a service station, with some citing the employment opportunities.

According to a council statement, community surveys undertaken by Illawarra Regional Information Service and council have consistently shown community demand for an additional service station.

"It will also produce competition and hopefully lower fuel prices, which is an issue that has plagued Kiama for many years."

Recently Glen Fulton Motors in Collins Street started selling petrol.

The community group against the proposal met with council last week to address concerns.

Group spokeswoman and Kiama Downs resident Natalie Allan said the meeting was positive.

"They have agreed to conduct community consultation prior to progressing to the rezoning and purchase of the land.

"They have agreed to look into the viability of an alternative site for a service station put forward by the group, on the west side of the highway."

Cr Petschler said the matter was likely to be reported to the next ordinary council meeting on June 24.

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