15.4 C
Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Report follows Leda’s muddy tracks

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

Contraband, Chile’s 9/11 and black ops 

Putting the life of local adventurer Chris Dewhirst into print would be no easy task. But he’s managed to do it, in part, with Everest Guns & Money.

Wombat burrows provide critical shelter for other species

A new study, published in the Journal of Mammalogy, found wombat burrows help other animals by providing critical shelter for numerous species following severe wildfire, and may even be an important source of water.

Only three flood buybacks done in Byron Shire

The most recent data from the Resilient Homes Program (buybacks, house raising and retrofits), administered by the SW Reconstruction Authority (RA), shows Byron Shire has just three buyback purchases completed, as of May 10, 2024.

Shambolic roads

With regards to the Echo article, ‘Let’s dive deep into potholes’ (May 15), I am appalled at the attitude...

Appeal to locate man missing from Mullumbimby

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man missing from Mullumbimby.

Consumer watchdog asked to investigate MasterChef ‘renewable gas’ claims

Claims that ‘renewable gas’ is making MasterChef 'greener' are under scrutiny following a complaint to the ACCC.

[author]Staff reporters[/author]

Leda drained wetlands and cut down koala habitat trees despite an interim protection order, according to an inquiry that triggered Tweed Shire Council’s sacking in 2005.

The report was critical of activities on Leda’s huge Kings Forest property which apparently went unpunished by authorities, including the pro-development council.

Inquiry head Maurice Daly said in his report that the Department of Environment outlined concerns about the council’s failure to take steps to stop ‘illegal clearing’ of the site.

He said the department spoke of its numerous submissions to both council and to Leda identifying the natural, scientific and cultural values of the land and advising that it had issued interim protection orders over the site.

‘Despite this, the department had become aware of further actions involving draining of sensitive wetlands and the clearing of threatened species habitat,’ Professor Daly said.

‘The department suggested delays on the part of the council in dealing with their concerns.’

Prof Daly cited evidence from a senior departmental officer who discovered during an on-site inspection that Leda was draining wetlands and had felled up to 80 native trees.

He also released an email outlining another officer’s concerns about the activities sent to the council chief planner, Noel Hodges, who later quit his post and worked as one of Leda’s consultants.

The officer told him that while Leda might argue existing use rights, it didn’t detract from the fact that the drainage works were likely to adversely impact on the wetlands’ ecosystems by ‘significant changes’ to the hydrology.

In an addendum to his second report, Prof Daly released more than 30 photographs taken on the site showing fallen koala-habitat trees, and bulldozers at work in wetland areas.

He said even after the council had been sacked, it had come to his attention that similar clearing work was continuing.

Neither the council nor the department could say if any action was later taken against the company but Leda has slammed Prof Daly’s comments and attacked one of the officers who gave evidence.

In its dossier sent to the council last month, Leda claimed that Prof Daly had never bothered to obtain evidence from the company.

It dismissed the evidence given by one of the officers as ‘completely at odds with the facts’.

‘Central to the inquiry’s findings detrimental to Leda has been the false, misleading and damaging evidence given by the department,’ the unauthored document claimed.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.