Developers of the Cobaki housing estate on the northern Tweed-Gold Coast border have been slapped with ‘the maximum possible fine for failing to protect environmentally sensitive areas as required by its conditions of approval.’
The Department of Planning and Environment says Leda Manorstead ‘was required to fence environmentally sensitive areas during earthwork activities to protect them from any work associated with construction of Cobaki Estate.’
A spokesperson for the department said that the breach was assessed as having a high impact.
‘The company is now required to pay a $15,000 fine, construct the fence and remediate the affected areas,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The issuing of this fine should serve as a deterrent to all companies in the state…
‘In August last year, the NSW government introduced five-fold increases in penalties for companies that breach conditions.’
This has given NSW the toughest penalties in the country for planning offences, say the department.
‘Companies can also be prosecuted in court for breaching conditions, with the most severe breaches attracting fines of up to $5 million.
‘The department has doubled the number of compliance officers in the field across NSW to monitor and enforce the conditions placed on developments of state significance such as residential developments.
‘In November 2015, the department’s compliance officers undertook 23 inspections across the Tweed and Ballina LGAs as part of an increased presence campaign in the north of the state,’ the spokesperson said.