Latest news

Feb 12, 2013

Gandangara confirms commitment

In another milestone for the Heathcote Ridge project, the NSW Department of Planning has issued a public notification of the draft Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) which outlines the actions Gandangara will take as part of the development if approved.

The VPA is an agreement between Gandangara and the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure and confirms Gandangara’s commitment to fund and undertake work which will benefit the local community.

Under the draft VPA Gandangara will fund the critical east-west road corridoor and bridge and upgrades to Heathcote Road.

These works will be staged over time as the development proceeds and the VPA ensures each subdivision will only be released once the relevant infrastructure works have been completed.

The draft VPA also commits Gandangara to the development of a draft Biodiversity Management Plan with a list of actions outlined for each year to protect and manage the proposed 566 hectare conservation reserve.

At least $100,000 a year is to be spent on conservation measures as part of the agreement.

Overall, if approved, this project will create a vibrant new community surrounded by publicly accessible bushland managed for conservation and an employment hub generating thouands of local jobs for the people of the Sutherland Shire

You can read the full Draft VPA here


Jul 17, 2012

Heathcote Ridge Proposal – less development, more conservation

Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council has responded to community comments on its 850 hectare project at West Menai and submitted a revised proposal to the NSW Government for consideration.

The amended Heathcote Ridge plan has:

  • increased the conservation reserve by approximately 50 hectares – now protecting two-thirds of the site or 566 hectares;
  • reduced the residential and employment development footprints by approximately 15%;
  • reduced the forecast number of dwellings by more than 10% to 2,400;
  • provided for a smaller  employment zone – accommodating up to 4,700 jobs;
  • significantly reduced local and regional traffic generation – by 40% from the original plan.

Chief Executive Officer, Jack Johnson said Gandangara had taken on board comments from the community and stakeholders in considering the final structure plan for the largest Aboriginal owned and managed project in Australia. Continue reading »

Mar 1, 2012

Heathcote Ridge reaches another milestone

Mark ‘Jack’ Johnson, CEO Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council

The extensive public exhibition of the Heathcote Ridge proposal has now come to an end, marking another milestone in the progress of the largest Aboriginal owned and run project in Australia.

Gandangara has also done a lot of work to ensure stakeholders and the community have a good understanding of the proposal.

In the lead up to and during the exhibition period the Heathcote Ridge Project Team hosted seven neighbour and community forums, consulted with over thirty different stakeholder groups, conducted numerous site visits and been an active participant in the DP&I-led community and agency reference groups.

Our thorough ecological and Aboriginal heritage studies have informed our planning so that threatened species and known Aboriginal sites are protected in a conservation reserve twice the size of Sydney’s Centennial Park. Continue reading »

Dec 13, 2011
Heathcote Ridge

Heathcote Ridge plans now on public exhibition

Mark ‘Jack’ Johnson, CEO Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council

I am extremely proud of the proposal Gandangara have put to the NSW Government, now on public exhibition.

Our extensive investigations and early stakeholder and community consultation have resulted in a comprehensive, informed and balanced proposal.

It ticks all the boxes in assisting to meet the Government’s targets for housing and employment while protecting a conservation area larger than the nearby Georges River National Park.

We have included extensive provision for bushfire management and detailed proposals for infrastructure upgrades including significant local road upgrades and a major east-west road link.

More than that, the Heathcote Ridge proposal pushes the boundaries in sustainability, ensuring the community is water and energy efficient, has access to public transport and cycleways and delivers a community sympathetic to the local bushland environment. Continue reading »

Aug 4, 2011
Heathcote Ridge

The vision for Heathcote Ridge

Mark ‘Jack’ Johnson, CEO Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council

Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council has a vision to create a vibrant new bushland community in Sydney’s south.

Over the next fifteen to twenty years selected areas of the Heathcote Ridge site will be transformed – providing much needed housing, local jobs, community facilities, schools, ovals and transport upgrades.

At the same time 500 hectares of pristine bushland will be protected forever, providing ongoing public access to a magnificent conservation reserve even larger than the nearby Georges River National Park.

Threatened plant and animal species will thrive here and a range of native animals will use the wildlife corridor stretching through north, south and west of the site.

The illegal dumps of tyres, asbestos and car bodies outside the conservation reserve will be gone and replaced by a community in keeping with its natural setting – a village in the trees.

It will be sustainable. Water and energy conservation will be priorities and a dependable public transport system, bike paths and walking tracks will encourage residents from their cars. Continue reading »

Jul 15, 2011

Gandangara’s $1 billion plan unveiled

Watch Channel 7′s story on Gandangara’s Heathcote Ridge project after the initial plans were unveiled.

Jul 15, 2011

Gandangara homes plan unveiled

Gandangara Aboriginal Land Council has unveiled today a $1 billion draft plan for 3000 new homes at the council’s West Menai bushland site.

The plan, called Heathcote Ridge, locates the residential developments in eight major hubs scattered throughout the 850 hectare site located between Heathcote Rd and New Illawarra Rd.

Read more:

Jul 15, 2011

From an illegal dump site, a $2b project will emerge

JACK JOHNSON kicks away a broken piece of a car dashboard, some old roof tiles and dozens of discarded plastic containers. The chief executive of the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council in south-west Sydney then traverses a mound of rubbish that includes rotting sofas, flaking foam cushions, rusty inner-spring mattresses, concrete pipes, even some asbestos planks, before climbing to the top of a pyramid of old car and truck tyres

Read more:

Jun 14, 2011

Welcome to the Heathcote Ridge site

Mark ‘Jack’ Johnson. CEO Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council

Welcome to the Heathcote Ridge website. I am pleased to see people take an interest in this project, especially considering its capacity to deliver so much to so many people.

It is important people don’t approach the Heathcote Ridge project in the same way they would any other project.

While its size and scope might make it look like a big corporate project, the fact that it is run by a Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) sets it aside.

The main driver for this project is to raise funds to assist local Aboriginal people get a good education, be healthy and be financially independent.
Continue reading »

May 26, 2011

Healthy reversal of Aboriginal Land Council’s fortunes

GANDANGARA Local Aboriginal Land Council is having a very good year.

On the back of financial success, the land council has opened a medical centre on Moore St at Liverpool.