A PROPERTY investment made in the 1960s has helped The Hills Council secure $40 million.
A council spokesman said that’s how much money had been generated from sales at the council-owned Grey Gum Estate in Kellyville.
He said the estate was already realising a net profit of more than $23 million for the council — one of only three NSW councils rated as having sound finances, strong asset management and a positive financial outlook.
‘‘The fact that we don’t solely rely on rates and grants is a major factor in our financial sustainability,’’ The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne said.
Classified as operational land, the 26 hectares on Withers Road, Kellyville — known as Grey Gum Estate — was subdivided into 83 single residential lots (minimum 700 square metres) and eight medium density sites.
All 83 single lots have now been sold and negotiations are under way to sell the remaining medium-density sites for a net return exceeding a further $25 million.
Cr Byrne said it was fantastic that about 12 hectares of the land was secured for passive recreation.
“Not only does this development provide high-quality housing to accommodate our growing population, we’ve got a big chunk of land preserved for future generations to enjoy,’’ Cr Byrne said.
“In that area we’ve installed more than 90 nesting boxes in trees so that possums, birds, bats and other native fauna can flourish.”
Council’s manager of property development, Laurie Doorey, said the development was made possible because three levels of government co-operated.
“We were issued with the first BioBanking statement in NSW and that allowed us to conserve 12 hectares of urban bushland while enabling us to achieve the type of the development we thought would be suitable for the area,” Mr Doorey said.
“We worked with both the federal Department of Environment and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage on this outcome and I think it’s been a very favourable outcome for residents on many levels.
‘‘This money will be invested into our future, but we’ve also got this pristine bushland to enjoy for generations to come.”