Despite an overwhelming majority of respondents in a Kiama Independent run poll voting to keep a six-metre high rock at Kiama Leisure Centre, Councillor Warren Steel says he will continue to fight for the proposal.
Cr Steel said he was not surprised people were not supporting his idea to bulldoze the large rock and surrounding bushland to build a five-star hotel and car park, to fix for the car parking shortage at the leisure centre.
“For 21 years I have come up with that many ideas for cruise ships, car parking and all sorts of things. Generally I get knocked for it, but eventually people come around and think it’s a good idea,” he said.
“I think it’s a good idea, there is $8 to $10 million in it for council and we need tourist accommodation and parking.”
One reader on Facebook voiced their concern Kiama might become a ‘high-rise town’.
“That’s crazy and we’re not going to let that happen,” Cr Steel said.
“Say it was four-stories high, it’s right next to the Blue Haven Village which is also four-stories high. I’m not for high rise, far from it.”
The poll attracted 565 voters; 93 or 16.46 per cent supported the idea to remove the rock, 459 voters or 81.24 per cent did not support the idea and 13 voters or 2.3 per cent made other suggestions, which included the following comments:
- “Another pool and 100 car spots.”
- “Parking yes motel on that site NO.”
- “I think the rock should go, but not be replaced with a hotel but a car park.”
- “Yes for car parking But a 5-star hotel near a retirement village seriously?”
- “Put a car park around the rock. Kiama doesn't need a large hotel.”
- “Depending on cost to community and safety of removal for surrounding structures.”
- “Rock and Roll.”
“People need to start thinking positively. It will also create jobs for their children – what more do they want?” Cr Steel said.
“Regardless of the results, I’m putting it up at at the next council meeting to see what the other councillors think.”