13.5 C
Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Zoning ban ‘risks biodiversity’

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

False impressions

Fast Buck$, Coorabell I was under the impression that, upon the mayor resigning, the deputy mayor would automatically get the...

A confusion of letters in Ocean Shores

Apparently, there is another Ocean Shores in another part of the world, and they have deer…

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

OCA a ‘diamond in the rough’

Around four years ago a group of like-minded friends started a Syntropic Farm project. Since that time, they have...

A grubby business

Cr Cate Coorey, Byron Shire Council Among the reasons Simon Richardson gave for his retirement from the mayoralty was the...

Highway traffic delays after truck rollover north of Byron

There have been two highway crashes north of Byron this morning.

Luis Feliu

The state-government freeze on draft environmental zones, which far north coast councils were set to adopt, has put the protection of biodiversity in the region at risk.

Planning minister Brad Hazzard recently announced the state government would not allow Byron, Tweed, Ballina, Lismore and Kyogle councils to adopt proposed E2 and E3 zonings after some landowners feared it would limit agricultural activity, and would review the process instead.

But Greens MLC and former Byron mayor Jan Barham says many landowners have been misinformed about the impacts the new draft local environment plans (LEPs) would have on farmland, as existing use rights still applied to agricultural land.

Ms Barham last week grilled local government minister and Ballina MP Don Page in parliament over the issue, accusing him of ‘reinforcing misinformation’ on the issue in the public arena while relying on the views of some landowners without checking with Byron Shire Council first.

She told Mr Page many people did not understand the complexity of the issue and how hard it was to translate the old environmental zones into the new template style of the new LEPs, as the planning department had done ‘a lousy job of explaining’ them.

Lismore City Council last week voted to condemn the government’s actions against the environment zones.

Ms Barham told Echonetdaily that for many years councils had raised concerns with the government over the new template LEP planning process.

Limitations

‘The reduction in the available zones available for translation of the old LEPs and the limited clauses to protect the environment have made it difficult for planning staff to ensure the protection for biodiversity that exists in the current planning system,’ she said.

‘Byron Shire adopted its Biodiversity Conservation Strategy in 2004 and has relied on its current LEP to protect those values across the shire but the translation to the new state template has created difficulties in ensuring that the status quo remains.

‘There has been considerable misinformation regarding the impacts of the new draft LEPs for farmland and it hasn’t been recognised that farm uses attract existing use rights.

‘The opposing concerns are that, with an inadequate planning model, years of work to protect and preserve biodiversity, wildlife corridors and waterway buffers could be undermined.

‘Unfortunately with the new planning system there are some circumstances where an environmental zone is the only planning option available to ensure protection.

‘The recent announcement of the environmental zones in rural areas not being adopted by the state could mean a loss of protection for biodiversity on the north coast.’

Ideology

In their argument over the issue during a budget estimates committee hearing, Mr Page, who is also minister for the far north coast, said ‘some councils have sought to impose their own ideological position on environmental planning’.

‘Because a new template is being implemented they have taken the philosophical view that it is an opportunity to put in place what they genuinely believe,’ he said.

Ms Barham replied that ‘many landowners who have not complained are concerned about your support for a minority of people who are making comments in the public arena and who do not understand how planning principles work’.

She said it was ‘a translation done by council staff’, with ‘no ideology’.

‘It appears that you and the local member, Thomas George, made representations to Mr Hazzard, the minister for planning and infrastructure, and an announcement was then made that the environment zones would be ruled out of local environmental plans based on landowner concerns,’ Ms Barham said.

‘I do not know that the accuracy of that information was checked with local government. That is a real concern given that the council has spent eight years doing a local environmental plan and that will now be struck out.’

 


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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. What Jan Barham fails to recognise in saying that the compensation to farmers for the imposition of ‘E’ zones on rural land holdings is ‘existing rights use’ is that farming is a diverse business practise that relies on intensification or change from a previously permitted use to another such use. In her ‘ideological’ outlook farming would simply cease to exist as weather patterns change and best farming practice is improved. Jan Barham also fails to recognise historic land use. Farmers were the first environmentalists and they do not need any help managing their land by well meaning, however nieve, members of the green movement.

  2. Jan Braham should get real. If she is genuine then she should sell up her urban pile, buy a Farm, apply to Council to have it rezoned to E2.

    Then watch the value diminish.

  3. I thank Mr George & Mr Page for standing up for landowners. It’s very hard to operate a farm in the best of times. The LEP just made more red tape and restrictions on already stressed farmers. The native veg. act is adequate!When the last farmer quits and all Australians food comes from places like China, i wonder what our socialist will say?

  4. JAn Barham up to her old tricks. Its always the “misinformed” peoples fauklt when there is opposition to green minority groups sneaky bullyboy tactics.
    We are just lucky as a nation that people are waking up to Green activists & are rejecting them at the ballot in droves. Christine Milne was best thing ever to happen to conservative politics in Australia.
    Geez, will I be labelled with the redfined mysoginist word now for saying that?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.