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Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy

In 2008, Cobbora Holdings Company Pty Ltd (CHC) purchased around 44,000 Hectares of land in the Dunedoo region to support the Cobbora Coal Project. The land portfolio includes agricultural land, stand-alone native vegetation, biodiversity offsets and lifestyle blocks.

Over 60%, or 27,100 Hectares of land is held by CHC in the Warrumbungle Shire. CHC also purchased a 3.31 Gigalitres (GL) of high security water access licences.

CHC is owned by the State of NSW.

The Cobbora Coal Project was being developed to supply major coal fired power stations in NSW. The open cut coal mine received development consent from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments in May 2014 and July 2014, respectively.

In August 2014, the NSW Government called for expressions of interest for the sale of the Cobbora Coal Project. Following initial market soundings, and further analysis of future coal prices and market conditions, the NSW Government announced in May 2016 that the land would instead be sold for agricultural use.

 

“The valuation of the land for sale for agricultural use exceeded all offers received from parties interested in a developing a mine on this site. Sale proceeds will be directed to Restart NSW, to be invested into new infrastructure across the State.”

– Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian

The sale of CHC’s water licenses and land portfolio has begun, with:

  • all of the high security water allocations were put out for tender in October 2016; and

  • Around 6,750ha (15%) of land up for auction in December 2016.

Staged sales proceedings will continue in 2017.


Purpose of the Project

Although it was never developed, the Cobbora Coal Project 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.

The anticipated changes arising from the Cobbora Coal Project on the area’s community and economy was also an important consideration for Warrumbungle Shire Council in preparing the Shire-wide Land Use Strategy, which was adopted in March 2013. This Strategy underpins land use and development planning controls across the entire Local Government area, to manage where and how new development occurs to 2036.

The sale of CHC’s water licenses and land portfolio for private use presents a unique opportunity to support and re-build community resilience for the Dunedoo region. The purpose of this project is to establish a vision for the types of lifestyle and livelihoods that could sustain long-term population and employment growth within the area. This vision will be supported by a Land Use Planning Strategy to facilitate new re-zonings on CHC landholdings, and direct investment in infrastructure within the Dunedoo region.

Once finalised, the Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy will form an addendum to Council’s Shire-wide Land Use Strategy.

 

Project timeline – and how you can get involved

In November 2016, Council appointed consultants City Plan Strategy and Development in partnership with Aurora Research and Development to prepare the Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy. The project timeline, including milestone dates, is summarised below: 

  • 7th December 2016 - The Project will begin with a public meeting from 2-4pm at Jubilee Hall, Dunedoo.

  • To April 2017 - The consultants will carry out their baseline research, targeted stakeholder consultation, and technical studies to formulate a draft Strategy. The draft Strategy Report will be presented to Council for consideration.

  • May 2017 – If supported by Council, the draft Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy will be exhibited for public comment.

  • To August 2017 – The consultants will review feedback received in response to the exhibition, and use this feedback to finalise the Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy. This will again be presented to Council.

  • September 2017 – If supported by Council, the Cobbora Land Use Planning Strategy will be adopted as an addendum to the Warrumbungle Shire Council Land Use Strategy, and will subsequently be used to support land re-zonings on CHC landholdings.

Further information  

Please visit

You can always contact the consultant team directly at: cobboraproject@cityplan.com.au

 This project is being funded by the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment and Warrumbungle Shire Council.


Last Updated: 05 Dec 2016