Council candidates for the upcoming local elections have thrown their support behind a community group's campaign to stop the sale of 40 hectares of land in Dalmeny.
Dalmeny Matters has been campaigning against the council's sale of the land near Tatiara Street since it was finalised in a council meeting in July.
The group has claimed the decision to sell the land was "rushed through", and also cites council's website which says Dalmeny is not suitable for affordable housing.
Dalmeny Matters also recently found evidence of activity by the yellow-bellied glider on the land.
In a recently published article about the forest, a spokesman for The Mayne Team questioned the council's decision.
"The questions that remain unanswered are: why was the sale of bushland to be cleared for housing rushed through, and why can't new housing be on cleared land in or near existing towns?" the article read.
"Rather than selling the forest, Eurobodalla Shire Council could rezone the land to community use allowing Dalmeny residents to continue to enjoy the bushland while the wildlife refuge and habitat remains.
"The Mayne Team is absolutely committed to the protection of wildlife and their habitats, and this applies as much to Dalmeny as it applies to the rest of the Eurobodalla.
"The large forest in Dalmeny is in good condition, a refuge to bird and animal life, and Dalmeny residents say they value the forest and want to keep it there for all to enjoy."
Eurobodalla Labor's David Grace was also critical of the decision in a statement provided to Dalmeny Matters.
"The Labor team has supported the Dalmeny community's concerns about this development from the time it was brought before the council," he said.
"We are strongly of the view that although development is necessary in the Shire, it needs to be carried out to at least maintain, and preferably improve, the environment in which we live.
"This includes ensuring that species other than humans can also enjoy this beautiful part of the world.
"We support further study of this area to ensure than any developments will not adversely affect yellow-bellied gliders or other threatened species, and we will take whatever action is needed to ensure the council meets its obligations to protect the species, as detailed in the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy."
Advance Eurobodalla's mayoral candidate Mat Hatcher also expressed his desire to protect the plot of land.
"Given AE's environmental policies, we are committed to protecting the habitat in question," he said.
"Environmentally responsible and sustainable housing and other development is what AE is about.
"We also note NSW Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, is strongly opposed to the proposed Dalmeny development."
Eurobodalla Greens candidate Alison Worthington expressed her "full support" of Dalmeny Matters' campaign.
"We will continue the support shown by Greens Councillor McGinlay who arranged, at very short notice, the initial community meeting that was the catalyst for the formation of the Dalmeny Matters group," she said.
"We will ensure that the need to protect this habitat for yellow-bellied gliders and glossy black cockatoos, as evidence by the observations of the local community, is taken seriously.
"The Greens maintain that no biodiversity offset is capable of reducing the impact of the loss of threatened species - we simply must do everything we can to protect their existing habitat in its place."
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