Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and Landcom to investigate development opportunity

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) and Landcom have signed a Heads of Agreement which will see both parties work in partnership to unlock a project in the Central Coast region that will deliver increased housing affordability, supply, and diversity in the interest of Darkinjung’s members and the wider Central Coast community. 

The land at 405-415 Pacific Highway, Lake Munmorah, was rezoned for residential uses in late 2022 and is noted in Central Coast Council planning documents as appropriate for residential development. Early investigations show the site could accommodate around 380 new dwellings.

On behalf of the Darkinjung Board of Directors, Darkinjung LALC Chairperson Barry Duncan said together with Landcom they want to develop land to deliver social and economic outcomes back to their community. 

“We want to provide opportunities for future generations and deliver projects that are environmentally sensitive, culturally aware, and sustainable in honour of the aspirations of our elders past and present,” Mr Duncan said. 

“In our agreement with Landcom we have identified land at Lake Munmorah that could be transformed into a mix of housing types and public open space, with a portion of the land preserved for environmental conservation in perpetuity and helping to connect the regional biodiversity corridor with the Munmorah State Conservation Area.” 

Landcom CEO Alex Wendler said the partnership with Darkinjung LALC is built on mutual trust, reciprocity, and positive commercial outcomes. 

“We are experiencing a state-wide housing crisis and partnerships with major landowners are a way for Landcom, on behalf of the NSW Government, to deliver homes and additional benefits to local communities during and beyond construction,” Mr Wendler said.  

“The agreement enables Landcom to contribute its expertise in master planning and development to potentially develop Darkinjung land that will support commercial and social outcomes for the LALC, its members and the wider Central Coast community.  

"Should we progress our partnership, we will explore education, employment and traineeship opportunities for Darkinjung LALC members and other local Aboriginal people during project delivery. Darkinjung LALC will also review the opportunity for some dwellings to be dedicated as housing for its members and other local Aboriginal people.”  

Mr Wendler said Landcom had begun investigations to better understand the opportunities and constraints of the site, considering planning controls, the type and scale of surrounding development, site topography, environmental conditions, and feasibility considerations. 

“Early investigations show the site could accommodate around 380 new dwellings, the majority of which would likely be freestanding homes with a handful of medium-density dwellings such as townhouses,” Mr Wendler said.  

“This will provide greater housing choice for a range of households and incomes.  

“Additionally, 20 per cent of dwellings on site will be set aside as affordable housing for very low to moderate income households, and priced so these households are able to meet other essential living costs.” 

If Darkinjung LALC and Landcom agree to progress the partnership following initial investigations, the project will follow protocols governing Local Aboriginal Land Councils before moving through the regular development process, during which time neighbours and the wider community would be informed of opportunities to comment.  

Investigations are also underway regarding the opportunity to rezone a neighbouring Darkinjung LALC-owned site which could enable the future delivery of a further 300 dwellings and preserve additional conservation land.

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