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Byron Shire
June 7, 2023

Shutting out stakeholders

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Richard Gates, president, Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Committee Inc.

So 300 metres of Cudgen Nature Reserve was ‘accidentally’ bulldozed and the state’s environmental watchdog is still investigating a year later.

Given the track record of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, don’t expect anything to happen. It rarely does. Appeals to do something invariably lead to inaction and excuse-making.

Even if there is a successful prosecution (I wouldn’t be holding my breath here) the fines are so puny that many developers just regard them as the ‘cost of doing business’, an expense from petty cash.

Until the department gets a strong minister with some clout it will be business as usual and you can expect the environment to continue to be compromised bit by bit until the north coast is cemented over and token koalas are available for viewing on YouTube.

The current state government doesn’t give a stuff about the environment. If you don’t believe me read the Green Paper for the new planning scheme: http://planningreview.nsw.gov.au/.

Dear shareholders, for that’s what you are about to become, you are just about to be shut out of the planning process while the big developers will have every opportunity to do as they please, legally.

Richard Gates, president,
Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Committee Inc.

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