Port Kembla

    Resident action group ‘Save Our Unpolluted Landscape’ (S.O.U.L) called a meeting on May 7th, 1974 to protest against sand dredging at Port Kembla Beach and a 15-storey high rise development near the Port Kembla Surf Club. Concern was also expressed for potential dangers to the Coomaditchie Lagoon, a site of immense importance to the Indigenous community in the area. The Wadi Wadi people also possess a strong connection to the sand dunes around Port Kemba beaches which have been used as dwelling places and burial grounds for generations. Sand dredging in the 1970s seriously threatened the integrity of this environment and its cultural nuances.

    200 residents and unions attended the S.O.U.L meeting at the local surf club where Labour Council secretary Merv Nixon backed the resident action group and a 28-day dredging ban was put in place following their call for an immediate in-depth feasibility study of sand reclamation. An official ban was endorsed by the BLF on June 4th, 1974.

    Around the same time and just a few suburbs north, a similar meeting was called in East Woonona. On May 23rd, 1974 the RAG ‘East Woonona Progress Association’ was joined by local residents where they requested urgent union support to halt six development projects in the area. On July 2nd  a ban was imposed on all high-rise and flat development, including major roads, and was to remain in place until residents were taken into consultation and involved in the future planning of the area.

    See also: East Woonona

    Research provided by Isabella Maher


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