Petitioners battle to stop pumps

Natalie Allan, Michelle Voyer, Chris O'Hara, Julia O'Hara, Nick Hartgerink, Molly and Maeve Allan from the Save Kiama Downs from Petrol and Fast Food Giants action group support the launch of the petition against the proposal. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Natalie Allan, Michelle Voyer, Chris O'Hara, Julia O'Hara, Nick Hartgerink, Molly and Maeve Allan from the Save Kiama Downs from Petrol and Fast Food Giants action group support the launch of the petition against the proposal. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

AS residents gather signatures on a petition opposing it, the contentious proposal to build another petrol station in the Kiama municipality will be the subject of further debate at next week's council meeting.

At the April 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.

In response, a Facebook group called Save Kiama Downs from Petrol and Fast Food Giants was established.

It has since attracted more than 1300 "likes".

Representatives from the group plan to address the council on the issue at next Monday's public access.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler said the matter would also be the subject of a Mayoral Minute at the June 24 council meeting.

Cr Petschler said this would include a report on council staff and several other councillors' meetings with the Save Kiama Downs group.

He said the report would also include a recommendation that the council investigate two matters the group had requested.

One is that the council conduct a preliminary geotech report of the site currently proposed for the service station complex.

The other is that the council investigate the possibility of suitable sites for a service station on the opposite side of the road.

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

In April, 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 previously told the Kiama Independent that 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.

The community group against the proposal recently met with Cr Petschler and general manager Michael Forsyth.

Group spokeswoman and Kiama Downs resident Natalie Allan said the group had received a great deal of interest via Facebook and email.

However, they were also seeking to reach those who were not present on social media and therefore perhaps not aware of the proposal.

"We recognise some at council don't put a lot of importance on a Facebook page," she said.

"But we're getting approximately 5000 people looking at every post we put on there . . . just massive interaction."

Therefore, the group will be conducting letterbox drops and have started a petition.

Information on the proposal and petition will be available at the post office at Gainsborough.

"The petition is asking them to stop looking at that site," Mrs Allan said.

"We don't think it's inapproprivate for a third service station, but we think this is an inappropriate site."

The petition will be presented at the July 15 council meeting.

Email savekiamadowns@gmail.com if you can help distribute the petition.

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