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Byron Shire
April 1, 2023

Manager shy on land clearing

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The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Tweed Shire Council’s outgoing general manager Mike Rayner has sidestepped questions on whether any unauthorised clearing had taken place at Cobaki Lakes or Kings Forest during the current council’s term.

Mr Rayner said at the last council meeting that he would take the question by Greens Cr Katie Milne on notice and advise councillors ‘in due course’.

Cr Milne had also asked if it was ‘council’s opinion that the Kings Forest and Cobaki Lakes developments will have one of the largest future impacts on the potential for survival of the Tweed Coast koalas and long-nosed potoroos?’

The developer recently came under fire in state parliament by Greens Upper House MP Cate Faehrmann who pointed the finger at Mr Ell and his company for illegally clearing part of the Cudgen Nature Reserve adjacent to Kings Forest, which has been under investigation by National Parks since it was reported in July.

In a related move, Cr Milne lost a bid seeking more information on the recent controversial dossiers by Leda containing allegations about council planners and consultants.

Leda released the files shortly after Echonetdaily revealed that heavy machinery had been used to illegally clear part of the reserve, a koala habitat, prompting one councillor to ask if they were timed as a smokescreen.

They contain sweeping allegations covering the last 18 years about council’s ‘green’ planners. The documents were leaked to local daily papers shortly after Leda regional manager Reg Van Rij gave copies to the council and government ministers, including local government minister Don Page.

Ms Faehrmann also raised the reports in parliament saying some people had been targeted ‘simply because they made submissions during the public consultation process’.

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