The Gully Aboriginal Place - Draft Plan of Management (PoM)

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In partnership with The Gully Traditional Owners Inc. Council is updating the Plan of Management for the Gully Aboriginal Place (previously Upper Kedumba River Valley PoM) following extensive engagement with members of The Gully Aboriginal Community and the broader community.

The Exhibition period for the Draft Plan of Management has now closed.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a submission. All submissions will be analysed and carefully considered as part of the consultation process. Recommended amendments to the Draft Plan of Management will be conveyed to the Councillors when the Final Plan of Management is prepared for adoption. This is currently anticipated to be at the 26 October 2021 Council meeting.

Public Hearing

A Public Hearing for the proposed recategorisation of community land, as required under the Local Government Act 1993 and Crown Land Management Act 2016 was held on Saturday 7 August, 2021 via Zoom and was conducted by an independent planning consultant.

For anyone who was unable to participate in the online public hearing, they were able to comment on proposed land recategorisation by making a written submission or contacting Council. This closed on Sunday 22 August 2021.

Recent Feedback

Council consulted extensively in preparation of the Draft Plan of Management (POM), including with Gully families, at NAIDOC week, and with the broader community through an online survey over a period of four months.

The public exhibition of the Draft POM is an important part of community consultation and was open for a period of 60 days, longer than is required (42 days) under the legislation (Local Government Act and Crown Lands Management Act 2016). The public exhibition period was advertised via media and advertising and closed on 26 July 2021.

There have been concerns raised in the community recently about the public exhibition period and what was being proposed.

There are no proposals to sell off, or develop, any bushland or public land within the Gully for private housing. The Gully is comprised of Council Community land and Crown land classified as Public recreation reserve, as well as a number of Council and Crown road reserve.

In regards to concerns focused on the parcels of 38-46 Gates Avenue:

  • The 5 parcels of land of 38-46 Gates Avenue are not within the Gully Aboriginal Place area as Gazetted in 2002. The Gully Draft PoM has been updated to include all and only land within the Gully AP area. Hence these parcels were not included in the revised PoM.
  • The Gully Draft PoM does not propose any change to the classification of Council community land within the Gully AP, (or for 38-46 Gates Avenue). Changes from Community land to Operational Land is a separate process and would require revision of the Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
  • There are no proposed changes to the land classification, or land categories of the land parcels of 38-46 Gates Avenue. They remain classified at Council Community (13/1-4/L1/2059) and Operational land (13/5/L1/2059) and remain categorised Natural Area Bushland.

What's Next?

A summary of submissions, along with staff recommendations will be presented to Council for adoption. Any personal information provided will be treated in accordance with Councils Privacy Management Plan. Specifically this will include the removal of any personal information that will be made public.


In partnership with The Gully Traditional Owners Inc. Council is updating the Plan of Management for the Gully Aboriginal Place (previously Upper Kedumba River Valley PoM) following extensive engagement with members of The Gully Aboriginal Community and the broader community.

The Exhibition period for the Draft Plan of Management has now closed.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a submission. All submissions will be analysed and carefully considered as part of the consultation process. Recommended amendments to the Draft Plan of Management will be conveyed to the Councillors when the Final Plan of Management is prepared for adoption. This is currently anticipated to be at the 26 October 2021 Council meeting.

Public Hearing

A Public Hearing for the proposed recategorisation of community land, as required under the Local Government Act 1993 and Crown Land Management Act 2016 was held on Saturday 7 August, 2021 via Zoom and was conducted by an independent planning consultant.

For anyone who was unable to participate in the online public hearing, they were able to comment on proposed land recategorisation by making a written submission or contacting Council. This closed on Sunday 22 August 2021.

Recent Feedback

Council consulted extensively in preparation of the Draft Plan of Management (POM), including with Gully families, at NAIDOC week, and with the broader community through an online survey over a period of four months.

The public exhibition of the Draft POM is an important part of community consultation and was open for a period of 60 days, longer than is required (42 days) under the legislation (Local Government Act and Crown Lands Management Act 2016). The public exhibition period was advertised via media and advertising and closed on 26 July 2021.

There have been concerns raised in the community recently about the public exhibition period and what was being proposed.

There are no proposals to sell off, or develop, any bushland or public land within the Gully for private housing. The Gully is comprised of Council Community land and Crown land classified as Public recreation reserve, as well as a number of Council and Crown road reserve.

In regards to concerns focused on the parcels of 38-46 Gates Avenue:

  • The 5 parcels of land of 38-46 Gates Avenue are not within the Gully Aboriginal Place area as Gazetted in 2002. The Gully Draft PoM has been updated to include all and only land within the Gully AP area. Hence these parcels were not included in the revised PoM.
  • The Gully Draft PoM does not propose any change to the classification of Council community land within the Gully AP, (or for 38-46 Gates Avenue). Changes from Community land to Operational Land is a separate process and would require revision of the Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
  • There are no proposed changes to the land classification, or land categories of the land parcels of 38-46 Gates Avenue. They remain classified at Council Community (13/1-4/L1/2059) and Operational land (13/5/L1/2059) and remain categorised Natural Area Bushland.

What's Next?

A summary of submissions, along with staff recommendations will be presented to Council for adoption. Any personal information provided will be treated in accordance with Councils Privacy Management Plan. Specifically this will include the removal of any personal information that will be made public.


  • The Gully Draft Plan of Management - Public Hearing Date

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    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Public Hearing will now be taking place via Zoom:

    • When: 1-2.30pm, Saturday 7 August, 2021
    • Where: Zoom platform (the link will be emailed to registered participants)
    • Register: email: Council@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or phone 4780 5000 and quote 'The Gully Public Hearing'
    • Registration by 5pm Friday 6 August 2021 is essential to attend the online public hearing.


    Registered participants will need to provide an email address and download the Zoom app on a desktop or mobile device to receive the invitation to the online public hearing.

    For anyone who is unable to participate in the online public hearing, they can comment on proposed land recategorisation by making a written submission or contact Council until Sunday 22 August 2021 via:

    • the online submission form
    • in writing to Council by: email: council@bmcc.nsw.gov.au
    • post: Blue Mountains City Council, Locked Bag 1005, KATOOMBA NSW 2780 Attention: Andrew Johnson/Soren Mortensen


    The Gully Aboriginal Place Draft Plan of Management proposes amending the existing land categories from Community land to Natural Area - bushland to reflect changes to vegetation mapping and from Sportsground to Natural Area – bushland; Natural Area – wetland; and Natural Area – watercourse (at the previous racetrack location).

    The Draft Plan of Management also includes three parcels of Crown Land that are part of the Katoomba Falls Reserve.

    The Public Hearing is required under the Crowns Land Management Act 2016 and will be conducted by an independent planning consultant.


  • Making a Submission

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    Submissions on The Gully Aboriginal Place Draft Plan of Management can be made in the following ways:

    Written submission

    Send to:

    Blue Mountains City Council

    Locked Bag 1005

    Katoomba NSW 2780

    Ref File: F10911 Draft Gully Plan of Management

    Email submission

    council@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

    Ref File: F10911 Draft Gully Plan of Management

    For submissions, please include your name and email address and reference the following before adding your comments:

    • Content Section i.e 2.3 Natural Landscape
    • Page Number

    Online submission - click here

    Closing date for submissions is: Monday 26 July, 2021

    Need more information?
    Soren Mortensen - Environmental Planning Officer smortensen@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

    View The Gully Aboriginal Place Draft Plan of Management

  • Public Exhibition and submission process

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    Public exhibition of the draft Plan of Management (PoM) is required under Sections 38 and 40 of the Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act), which requires not less than 28 days for public exhibition of the draft plan and not less than 42 days for submission on the draft plan. The Council has determined to place the draft Plan of Management on public exhibition, and to provide a period of 60 days, during which submissions can be made to the Council from May to July 2021.

    The Gully Aboriginal Place includes Crown Land which too is covered by the draft PoM. The PoM has also been prepared in accordance with Division 3.6 of the Crown Lands Management Act 2016 (CLM Act 2016). The public exhibition, provision for comment and adoption of a plan of management under the CLM Act 2016 is in accordance with the LG Act 1993.

    Being an Aboriginal Place listed under the National Parks Act 1974, draft PoM for The Gully, has also been prepared following the NSW Government’s Guideline for Developing Management Plans for declared Aboriginal Places 2012.


  • Community Consultation

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    As part of the preparation of the draft PoM for The Gully Aboriginal Place consultation with the Gully Aboriginal community and the broader community was undertaken. This included communications and engagement with:

    • Aboriginal families of former Gully residents and their descendants;
    • NAIDOC Week participants in The Gully (2018); and
    • People who visit and use The Gully through the Have Your Say survey.

    Common to all these communications, the Council sought to understand the view of stakeholders on:

    • What’s important?
    • What needs to be protected?
    • How should be The Gully be in the future?

    The outcome of this consultation is presented in Chapter 5 of the Draft Plan of Management Talking with the Community. A complete summary of stakeholder engagement is presented in Talking with the Community Stakeholder Engagement Report - The Gully Aboriginal Place Katoomba. Plan of Management review.

    The Council acknowledges the importance of community participation in the preparation of Plans of Management for community land. While the Council has received a wide range of responses and ideas for the future management of The Gully, decisions on whether a suggestion can be included in the PoM is measured against the core cultural values of The Gully as an Aboriginal Place, and whether the ideas are supportive of these core values. This direction has also been guided through the Council’s formal relationship with The Gully Traditional Owners Inc, The Gully Cooperative Management Agreement.

  • Public Hearing - land category change

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    Under Section 40A of the Local Government Act, a proposed change to the categorisation of Council Community Land requires a public hearing. The Gully Aboriginal Place Draft Plan of Management, proposes a change to an existing land category (as defined under Section 36 of the LG Act 1993) over a section of Council Community Land within the Aboriginal Place boundary. This proposed change is the removal of the ‘Sports Ground’ category over the former race track to be replaced with the ‘Natural Area’ category (including Bushland, Wetland and Watercourse). This change is proposed out of respect to the deep cultural values of The Gully and its current site use. Also proposed are some minor boundary changes to the ‘General Community Use’ category and ‘Natural Area’ boundary changes to more accurately reflect updates to Council vegetation mapping.

    The proposed changes to land categories on Council Community land will be addressed in a separate public hearing following the public exhibition period and prior to adoption of the Plan of Management.

    This Public hearing is planned to occur after Public Exhibition which runs from May to July, 2021. The Council will notify the Public Hearing date and location once determined.

  • Background Information

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    The Gully is located in the Blue Mountains, west of the township of Katoomba, and is part of the upper catchment of the Kedumba River which feed Sydney’s drinking water supply. The Gully was declared an Aboriginal Place in 2002 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. The Gully was nominated as an Aboriginal place because of its significant pre-contact Aboriginal sites, and post contact settlements and its ongoing occupation by Aboriginal People until forced eviction in 1957. (1)

    The existing Plan of Management, titled The Upper Kedumba River Valley was revised in 2004, and incorporated the public reserve of Frank Walford Park and parts of Katoomba Falls Reserve (McRae’s Paddock and Cascades/Selby Street section) This Plan of Management (POM) is 16 years old and does not reflect the contemporary cultural values and perspectives held by the Gully community. Funding from the NSW Government, NSW Heritage Grants – Aboriginal Heritage Projects has been made available to review and update the Plan of Management for the Gully.

Page last updated: 25 August 2021, 17:39