Warrumbungle Council rewrites land use strategy after Cobbora Coal Project failure

A public meeting to discuss a Land Use Planning Strategy for Cobbora will be held on December 7, from 2-4pm at the Jubilee Hall in Dunedoo. 

In the wake of the abandonment of the Cobbora Coal Project, Warrumbungle Shire Council has appointed a team of consultants to review and update the Land Use Planning Strategy for Cobbora. 

The strategy will consider what types of uses can assist in bringing people, jobs and investment back into the area, and set the framework for future land re-zonings and infrastructure improvements.

Council sees the sale of Cobbora Holding Company’s (CHC) portfolio of land and water access licences as an opportunity to re-frame the future of the Dunedoo Region.

In 2008, CHC, which is owned by the NSW Government bought around 44,000ha and 3.31 Gigalitres of high security water access licenses to support the Cobbora Coal Project, being developed to supply coal fired power stations in NSW.

Despite receiving development consent from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments in May 2014 and July 2014, respectively, the project was abandoned.

When preparing the Warrumbungle Shire Land Use Strategy, which was adopted in 2013, council anticipated the Cobbora Coal Project to be a major population and economic driver for the Dunedoo Region.

Although it was never developed, the Cobbora Coal Project has transformed the Dunedoo region.  Several families moved out of the area following land purchases by CHC, which has had a major influence on local businesses and services.

CHC began selling the first stages of its water access licenses and land portfolio earlier this year.  The high-security licenses were put out for tender in October and around 6750ha of land will be up for auction in December.

“The sale of CHC’s portfolio presents a unique opportunity to re-build community resilience for the broader Dunedoo region,” a council spokesman said.

More information about the Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy is available at warrumbungle.nsw.gov.au.

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