China visit 'essential' for temple proposal

Australian Broadcasting Corp, June 19, 2006

Shoalhaven, Australia -- Shoalhaven Mayor Greg Watson has returned from China with a deal for a Shoalin temple on the south coast. The Zen Buddhist temple has signed a contract to buy 1,200 hectares of land at Comberton Grange south of Nowra.

The proposal is for a three tier temple complex with two pagodas, a 500 room hotel, a kung fu academy, a golf course and a residential subdivision.

However, the proposal has still to gain State Government approval as the area has to be rezoned from rural to residential.

Councillor Watson says despite this, the trip was essential.

"There was a lot of local publicity generated by the visit, the signing of the documentation, the reality is the abbot is well and truly locked in now, it would tremendous loss of face if he didn't go on with the proposal," he said.