Coaliton backs ‘Save Kingswood’

The old front gate of Kingswood Golf Course. 243203_02 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

The State Opposition has added its voice to an emphatic community campaign against an 823-dwelling estate on the former Kingswood Golf Course in Dingley Village.

Liberal candidate Anthony Richardson called on the new Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn to reject the “high-density” multi-storey proposal by Australian Super.

The housing estate would build over the equivalent of 20 MCGs in green space, Mr Richardson said.

“If approved by the Andrews Labor Government, this development will attract 20 per cent more residents to the area, will result in a significant loss of green space, increase the risk of flooding, increase traffic congestion and will overwhelm limited local infrastructure.”

He pledged the Coalition would reject the project if the Government failed to make a decision prior to the state election.

The project had been unanimously rejected by Kingston councillors after 8000 objections from residents. The Planning Minister however has the final say.

Save Kingswood Group president Kevin Poulter welcomed the announcement.

“Stopping the overdevelopment” was now “official Liberal Party policy”, Mr Poulter said.

Australian Super’s plans would create “mass flooding in Dingley Village and in suburbs south of the site”.

In 2014, Australian Super bought the 53-hectare golf course for $120 million.

Australian Super purports to create an inclusive, attractive, high-quality residential development”, with 14 hectares of open space including a ‘central park’ and wetlands.

“When complete, its tree-lined streets and parks will have 10 per cent more trees.”

Under its plan, it will remove more than 2400 of the 3284 trees on site. It would replace them with 2685 plantings.

In May, the previous Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, had said he’d not yet decided on the development despite receiving an advisory committee report on the matter in March.

“I understand the aspirations of that community, but in the job as the Minister for Planning you have to strike a balance. That is the job,” Mr Wynne said at the time.

A month later, Mr Wynne made way for Ms Blandthorn as Planning Minister as part of a wholesale Cabinet reshuffle.

The State Government did not respond by deadline.