There is a syndrome called Nature Deprivation Syndrome. The label is self evident but the effects never more so active when in the city surrounded by high rise and the sounds of concrete churning and parks disappearing to create housing development.
The urgency to enfold oneself in nature and indulge in the language of the soul overtakes one; a space for quiet meditation, reflection and tranquility nourishes the spirit.
Thus I am calm in Wendy Whitely’s garden at Milsons Point. A magnificent garden created on a disused railway slope. One can sit for hours in this tiny slice of nature. It is alive with many birds and densely planted.
It is surrounded by very modern concrete units with views of Sydney Harbour and old grand estates. I loathe leaving it but I am grateful that it is there. Throngs of people flock to it. Tourists just arrived from long air journeys, the elderly and children.
When there my thoughts return to Byron and with it my fears that rampant development will strip the soul from Byron.
In Byron fears are becoming reality. And what is to potentially come is truly devastating if there is not some blessing from somewhere.
I recently attended an EDO workshop on E zones and the changing nature of same for the Byron shire. The implications of environmental conservation and environmental management are undergoing review. There is a watering down of legislation.
At this workshop the young bright lawyer said that there is an attack on aesthetic values.
The EDO summary states:
‘Scenic values can no longer be used as an attribute for the application of an E2 or E3 zone or mapped planning controls. This means the current Far North Coast Scenic/Escarpment zones are likely to lose their E zoning, unless the land meets the E2 or E3 zone criteria and its primary use reflects and E Zone.’
The magnificent escarpments surrounding the lighthouse, in particular Suffolk Park, potentially could disappear and be replaced with concrete housing with wonderful views of the sea. Just like I see in Wendy’s garden.
I so lament that lapsed Green, Rose Wanchap, a real estate agent, is on Byron Council and is happy to support the pro-development faction.
This was not the vision of the Green movement which supports the total rights of nature.
Indeed, let us not forget that Petra Kelly was so inspired by the Sydney Green Movement of the BLF (Builders Labourers) in the seventies, a union that created a movement to bring ecology into development, that upon returning to Germany she created the German Green Party.
Rose, I implore you to respect the rights of nature and its aesthetic values. The Green movement has taken many decades and hard work to develop. You ascended to council on the goodwill of the Green movement. Indeed, the Paris Climate Convention is a manifestation of scientific work and Green consciousness.
The world is aware of the rights of nature. Leave Byron alone and allow its intrinsic natural beauty to remain intact and flourish. That would be a real blessing.
Jo Faith, Newtown