Stepping up bid to protect Butterfly

Save the cave: Melinda Brown in the cave with her granddaughter Yasmine.

A campaignwill be ramped up this weekto ensure protection of the Butterfly Cave at West Wallsend.

Resident Annie Freer, who started a petition on the matteron, said a meeting would be held on Thursday at 4pm.

Ms Freer said Lake Macquarie councillors and council staff would attend, whiletheAwabakal, Biraban and Bahtabah Aboriginal land councils had been invited.The meeting would be held near the cave, before women visited the site andmen remained“a respectful distance away”.

The cave,a sacred Aboriginal women’s site, is part of land where the Roche Group’sHammersmith Management is developing 404 residential lots.The cave must be 20 metres from the “development footprint”under approval conditions, but activists are concerned this won’t be enough.The developer said recently thatthe Joint Regional Planning Panel approved the subdivision in 2012“in full understanding of the location and Aboriginal heritage significance” of the cave.

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