Shaolin Temple mooted for Kiama: poll

THE Kiama municipality’s “hidden asset” has been touted as a possible future site for a Shaolin Temple complex, should a long-time Shoalhaven-based proposal be refused. 

At last Tuesday night’s (August 19) meeting, Councillor Mark Way said if the proposal for a $360 million Shaolin Temple complex at Comberton Grange, located south of Nowra, was rejected a decommissioned Jerrara Dam could be a potential site. 

Cr Way proposed Kiama council officers approach the Shaolin Temple proponents to determine interest in a smaller-scale development at the Jerrara Dam site if the Shoalhaven proposal was knocked back.   The proposal is currently being assessed by the Planning Assessment Commission.

Cr Way had previously proposed a fishing and eco-resort at Jerrara Dam. 

“They’ve been having issues getting the proposal approved,” he said.

“It seems to have been going on for years… It’s been held up to the point where it may not go ahead due to complaints.

“It’s been about eight years now, this particular process.

“I still favour my original concept… The Shaolin proposal in the Shoalhaven is way too large for this site, but a smaller proposal would fit in there nicely.

“It’s the hidden asset of the Kiama municipality.”

A report outlining preliminary costs for Cr Way’s proposal is expected to return to council. 

Last year, the majority of councillors voted to decommission the 53-hectare earth-fill embankment dam.

Cr Way voted against the move.

Throughout recent years, the dam has regularly been the subject of emergency warnings during heavy rain.

Council has incorporated $1.3 million into future budgets for the decommissioning.

Estimates to raise the embankment or widen the spillway ranged have been costed at between $3.1 million and $3.6 million.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler told Fairfax Media that design works for the decommissioning were complete and council would soon go to tender for the works, which they hoped to complete by the end of 2015.

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