Australian state loses Buddhist temple project

Radio Asutralia, Aug 24, 2007

Shoalhaven, New South Wales (Australia) -- The mayor of Shoalhaven on the New South Wales south coast of eastern Australia, Greg Watson, says he believes the area has lost out on establishing the world's first Shaolin temple outside China.

Councillor Watson says he has evidence to show that the Buddhist order is now looking at California to establish the temple.

The temple, along with 300 residential dwellings, had been proposed at Comberton Grange, south of Nowra about 18 months ago.

Councillor Watson blames a lack of action by the New South Wales' planning department for the project not going ahead.

"The (NSW) premier was very enthusiastic, we met with the premier, he was over the moon," he said.

"But the Department of Planning had other ideas.

"As far as I'm concerned, they set a process which was impossibile to get it across the line in that form."