Dalwood divided



Seaforth locals, staff and auxiliary members are campaigning to stop the progression of a planning proposal by NSW Ministry of Health to rezone land surrounding the Dalwood Homes facility.

The proposed plan would see the southern portion of the site currently attached to the Dalwood Family Care Centre and the Dalwood Spilstead Service facility on Dalwood Avenue rezoned to accommodate low-density residential housing.

The Dalwood unit, which is part of the Northern Sydney Child and Family Health Service, assists vulnerable families experiencing familial issues and/or raising children with social, emotional and developmental needs.

The land identified by NSW Health in the proposal has been labelled as ‘surplus’ and predominantly consists of bushland zoned under E2 Environmental Conservation.

Michele Chim, member of the Friends of Dalwood Spilstead Service, says the supporters, staff and families utilising the services are concerned the rezoning, and likely subsequent selling off of the land, will prevent the unit expanding and offering new services in the future.

She fears it will also impact on the privacy of the families in need that utilise the services.

“We are already at our limit in terms of the care we can offer – currently looking after 200 to 300 families per year. Once they sell that land, they effectively limit what the centre can do in terms of services.

“This service is a unique, world-recognised and one of a kind in Australia, and we train other services and workers from across the country.

“It seems very counter-intuitive to not support health services, for children in particular.”

She says those associated with the service are also disappointed with the planning process, with the proposed plans placed on public exhibition for 16 days out of a potential 28 days.

A NSW Health spokesperson told Peninsula Living the land in question will be disposed of by the Department of Planning Industry and Environment within a year.


Stephanie Aikins

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