Killalea Reserve Enhancement Project

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Killalea Reserve Enhancement Project


Killalea Reserve is located just over an hour’s drive from Sydney between Shellharbour and Kiama on the South Coast of NSW. It comprises approximately 265 hectares of natural and modified landscapes, and eight kilometres of undeveloped coastline including beaches, headlands, extensive wetlands, estuary mangroves, an offshore island and coastal rainforest remnants. The Reserve also offers two of the best beaches and surfing locations on the NSW South Coast including The Farm and Mystics, listed as a National Surfing Reserve.

Reflection is in possession of a number of consultant and industry reports relating to vegetation, flora and fauna at the Reserve.  We will continue to manage noxious weeds, pests and vermin and develop broader environmental management initiatives for the continuous environmental sustainability of the Reserve.

Like many organisations the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw staff stood down, including the bulk of the team tasked with maintaining the Reserve.  Additionally, many of Reflections profitable Holiday Parks were required to close for a short period of time which significantly affected our revenue streams. 


More recently, in late February 2021, the team at Killalea Reserve, increased by one team member and maintenance activities recommenced to clear the backlog of regrowth. 

We have also noted some of the wider maintenance issues raised by the community over the past month, including:

  • Rubbish on the beach
  • Pest and vermin management
  • Poor condition of existing paths, walkways, and overgrown grassed areas

Reflections has been successful in attaining a Crown Reserve Investment Fund Grant for the amount of $280,535 to complete road repairs.  Reflections is sourcing qualified contractors to undertake this road maintenance to the Farm Beach carpark, with work expected to commence after the Easter school holidays.

As outlined above, the Grant only supports investigations and potential design of an alternate roadway.  The Grant criteria was limited to tourism and regional economic growth and did not cover road construction. Construction of a roadway involves many State and local agencies and considerable funds to ultimately build, hence the recommended staged approach via the grant funding.

Reflections understands from the local community that there are some for and some against an alternate roadway into Killalea Reserve.  We have heard from some local residents who would welcome a roadway, however there is still plenty of research, investigation, environmental assessment, traffic data and community engagement to consider, to ensure any solution reflects the wishes of the community. The impact on residents of Killalea Drive is acknowledged and having an access road through residential areas is far from ideal.

The Grant funding commits $500,000 to the investigation, planning, and approval process if an alternative route is found. We are working closely with Shellharbour Council and are hopeful that we can all find a workable solution with local residents supporting us in this endeavour.

The Grant covers the survey investigation and design works only.  The Grant does NOT cover the cost of building an alternative access road.

Reflections appreciates this idea and will explore further with the community. 

Reflections will soon be seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) for interested parties to hold activities at the Reserve, including Markets.  The previous Market Operator has been advised that they are welcome to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Yes. Reflections is open to these activities which may already operate at the Reserve.  As a Crown Land Manager, every Reserve must comply with the Crown Land Management Act 2016, and leases and licenses must be in place for activities such as Markets, Festivals, tourism operators and the like.   

Ideas shared during the Zoom sessions included jazz festivals, children’s concerts, food and wine festivals, music festivals, with attendees noting the potential strain on existing amenities.

Upgrading the kiosk and camping bunkhouse were also raised as potential ideas.  Reflections will ensure the potential revenue options remain for discussion at the next community consultation meetings in late April 2021.

Yes. Reflections currently employs a local Park Manager, and the supporting staff are all locals.  Current license holders who operate within the Reserve are also locals.  Reflections has many remote holiday parks and aims to ensure local people and local contractors are sought.

This is something that Reflections has considered when we started our consultation with the community in late 2019.  There has been varied community reaction towards introducing a gate fee.  However, during our recent Zoom sessions some support for a gate fee, for non-residents, was shown.   We will continue to explore this with the community.

Maintaining a Reserve of the scale of Killalea, with many compliance, safety, environmental and regulatory requirements to be met, is extremely costly.

Like all our parks across the State, financial sustainability is crucial to ensuring these important Reserves can be adequately maintained.

The following lists the financial commitments Reflections makes to the Killalea Reserve and camping ground:

  • Park wages and management
  • Marketing costs (for the promotion of the camp sites)
  • Property and building maintenance and capital repairs
  • Rates and utilities, sewer, electricity, telephone, internet, and waste management
  • Amenities cleaning and servicing
  • Financial control and audit processes
  • Weeds and pest control, mowing and park maintenance
  • Maintenance of bushfire and asset protection zones
  • Administration of licences and leases
  • Arborist and tree management for 265 hectares
  • Electrical testing and compliance
  • Emergency management plans and systems.
  • WHS control and reporting
  • Sewer pump-out and sewer inspections
  • Council Section 68 licence inspections and cost for operating licence

After our Zoom sessions, it is clear, at this stage, that some members of the community are not in favour of fitness/gym facilities. However, play equipment, if placed near the campground or eco cabins would align with family holidays.

This again will be the subject of further discussion at our next consultation meetings.

No. The proposed improvements to the existing accommodation offering are designed to generate proceeds to sustain the entire Reserve into the future.  Reflections is committed to the enhancement work required to ensure the sustainability of the Reserve.

Whilst Reflections Holiday Parks has presented DRAFT concepts only for the Grant Application, it is very aware of this concern. As discussed, the location for a Multifunction Community Facility or building has not been decided. Reflections has provided an “environmental constraints map” to inform the community of the environmentally sensitive areas, committing to no built forms within these areas. The map can be found in the 'Key Documents' section of this website.

This facility has only ever considered as a single level building with an environmentally sensitive design, which aligns with the environment at the Reserve.  There are no plans to provide multi-story facilities.

The Grant Application included a Multifunction Community Facility as the key driver of regional economic growth. Reflections has listened and heard the local community, not only through the Zoom consultation meetings, but through various communication channels including: the local media (TV, Radio and Newspaper), from Local MPs, Councillors, and social media forums.

During the Zoom meetings Reflections made a commitment to discuss the community sentiment in relation to the Multifunction Community Facility, with Restart NSW and understand if there is any flexibility within the funds currently committed.

It is worth noting, that the Multifunction Community Facility was not a concept rejected by all community members.  There has been some discussion around exploring a facility which brings locals together and still generates revenue for the Reserve.

Reflections originally saw the centre as an opportunity to provide a community space for local recreation and community groups to come together in a flexible space.

The Grant Application was based on providing an economic benefit to the community and promote tourism opportunities; hence the function centre component of this facility was proposed to deliver strong economic, regional growth and employment.

During the Zoom sessions the Reflections Team committed to contact Restart NSW to discuss sharing a copy of the original Grant submission with the community.  However, it was made clear, the application forms part of the Grant Approval and is therefore a decision for Restart NSW.  The potential “commercial in confidence” considerations were also explained.  

Update: 12/04/2021

Will Reflections release the Masterplan from the Grant Application?

This Masterplan was produced to provide an indicative plan for the Grant Submission at the time, and it was always the intention of Reflections to discuss and consult with the Community on future Master Planning. 

We followed up this request with Infrastructure NSW (iNSW) and Regional NSW (RNSW) and we have been advised that we are not able to release the Grant Application or any of the Appendices which were part of a competitive, commercial application process. One of the Appendices was a Masterplan for the Grant opportunities at the site, and not for the site as a whole.  iNSW and RNSW have both recommended that the draft design for the Grant-funded project, be shared with the community after the extensive community consultation process.

The following is a summary of the community consultation sessions.

Location: Flinders Child and Family Centre - 12 Adam Murray Way, Flinders NSW 2529


Tuesday, 27 April 2021 (all sessions will be held in the Main Hall)

  • Session 0 (RSVP Required): 9:00am-11:00am
  • Session 1 (RSVP Required): 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Session 2 (RSVP Required): 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Wednesday, 28 April 2021 (all sessions will be held in the Main Hall)

  • Session 3 (RSVP Required): 9:30am - 11:30am
  • Session 4 (RSVP Required): 12:30pm - 2:30pm
  • Session 5 (RSVP Required): 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Session 6 (RSVP Required): 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Thursday, 29 April 2021 (all sessions will be held in the Main Hall)

  • Session 7 (RSVP Required): 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Session 8 (RSVP Required): 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Session 9 (RSVP Required): 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Friday, 30 April 2021 (all sessions will be held in Multipurpose / Activity Room 2)

  • Session 10 (RSVP Required): 9:30am - 11:30am
  • Session 11 (RSVP Required): 12:30pm - 2:30pm

A Community Drop-In Session is planned for Saturday, 1 May 2021 from 10:00am - 3:00pm at Killalea Reserve. RSVP is not required.

We encourage the community to register their attendance for the weekday sessions at here.

Alternatively, you can email the Project Team and we will register for you. 

Email and provide the following details:

  • Your name
  • Number of attendees
  • The session you wish to attend.

For those not able to make a session during the week, the team will be at Killalea Reserve between 10:00am and 3:00pm on Saturday 1 May 20201.

Members of the public can drop in to learn more about the Killalea Reserve Enhancement proposal, chat to our staff, ask questions and hear directly from the Reflections Holiday Parks Project Team and RPS engagement staff.

Reflections and RPS will be holding face-to-face consultation sessions at the Flinders Child and Family Centre from Tuesday, 27 April 2021 to Friday, 30 April 2021.  The Team will also be at Killalea Reserve on Saturday, 1 May 2021 to talk to interested park-goers.

Reflections believes that Town Hall meetings are where the community can be “informed” only and it limits the opportunity to “involve” the community and hear and listen to all voices.  With that said, 10 of the 12 scheduled sessions are being held in the main Hall of the Flinders Child and Family Centre, which has a capacity of 60 people, plus the Project Team. Sessions 10 and 11 will be held in the Multifunction/Activity Room 2, which has a smaller capacity of 25 people, plus the Project Team.

This will enable Reflections and RPS to share the latest information and seek the feedback of all attendees.

Community Engagement and consultation is at the heart of every project Reflections undertakes.  Being an appointed Category One Land Manager of 37 holiday parks and 35 reserves on Crown Land across the State, we work with local Members of Parliament (MPs), Councils, communities in which our parks operate, visitors and holidaying guests and other interested stakeholders. 

All voices matter and contribute to an outcome that serves the communities and Regions in which we operate. 

The majority of video recordings are available in the Video Gallery. Whilst each session was asked specifically if there were any objections to recording the discussion, from a privacy perspective, RPS has written personally to each attendee asking for their permission to publish. Some session recordings will not be published for privacy reasons, as consent has not been received from all participants. This is the same approach when you are asked to “opt in” or “opt out” of marketing material to maintain your personal privacy.

Reflections Holiday Parks is a self-funded, non-for-profit organisation. All Reflections Reserves, including Killalea Reserve, are cross subsidised by our other holiday park operations across New South Wales. We do not receive any ongoing Government funding and therefore rely on our coastal parks and grants such as the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund (RGETF) and the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund Program (CRIFP) to be able to maintain and sustain these reserves into the future.

At present Killalea operates at a circa. $450k deficit each year.  

The project will benefit the local community and anyone else who uses Killalea Reserve by providing improved amenities and infrastructure and a recreational space which can be utilised by all.

The income stream raised from the new facilities, including the multifunction centre and eco-cabins, will directly benefit local fauna and flora. Reflections Holiday Parks, as the land manager, invests the revenue back into the environmental management of the Reserve.

It is expected the total project will cost approximately $11 million. The funds for the project are a combined NSW Government Grant and contribution from Reflections Holiday Parks. 

Killalea Reserve is a vast 260 hectares of pristine coastal land and enhancements as part of the project will have minimal impact on the total footprint of the Reserve.

A desktop analysis of the key environmental factors was undertaken and included mapping the following:

  • Topography
  • Bushfire vegetation
  • Aboriginal heritage sites
  • Types of plant communities
  • Ecological Endangered Communities
  • Areas of weeds and acacia regrowth
  • Key elements of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 including coastal wetlands, littoral rainforests and coastal land uses.

Following the preliminary environmental assessment, high-sensitive areas were identified. An environmental constraints map of Killalea Reserve, indicating the investigation area for the potential location of facilities, can be found in the ‘Key Documents’ section of this website.

It is important to note that all of the areas in pink on this map are designated as 'high sensitivity areas' and will not be a part of this project due to wetlands, ecologically endangered communities and view corridors to the ridgeline from the beaches. The areas in pink also incorporate areas of greatest sensitivity from the 2006 Killalea State Park Plan of Management Addendum.

No buildings are proposed to be located within the high-sensitive areas. Taking into consideration the topography, an investigation area for the potential location of facilities was identified. On the environmental constraints map, the areas in yellow incorporate Tourist Facility Areas (within areas of least sensitivity from the 2006 Killalea State Park Plan of Management Addendum).

Planned enhancements at Killalea Reserve include:

  • A multifunction facility with restaurant/café, outdoor deck and natural amphitheatre for events and cultural activities
  • 15 environmentally sustainable eco-cabins adhering to Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles where the natural environment is the focus
  • 53 enhanced camping sites with power, potable water and sewer services
  • Recreational and fitness facilities including outdoor fitness equipment, new and enhanced guided walking trails and a nature-play playground.

The natural beauty of Killalea has long attracted domestic and international visitors to NSW. Current visitor information indicated that:

  • An average of 16,000 vehicle enter Killalea Reserve per month
  • An average of 28,800 visitors go to Killalea Reserve per month

High visitation rates place significant pressure on the current physical infrastructure and general park environment. Enhancing Killalea Reserve will provide for a pleasant environment for the many existing users and future visitors while ensuring the park remains sustainable for all. The project will respect important aspects including flora, fauna, view corridors and natural environment and Aboriginal cultural heritage.  

Reflections Holiday Parks was successful securing an investment of more than $6.5 million from the NSW Government through the Regional Growth, Environment and Tourism Fund (RGETF). The grant, plus further contribution from Reflections Holiday Parks, will see almost $11 million invested into Killalea Reserve over the next 2 to 3 years, to enhance the facilities for the local community, provide more guest accommodation and contribute to the regional economy.

Revenue generated by Reflections Holiday Parks will go towards the maintenance and upkeep of Killalea Reserve for all to enjoy.