Dave Rawlins, Mullumbimby Creek
There is much confusion resulting from the state government’s rash and unexplained decision to remove E2 and E3 environmental zones from north coast LEPs (local environment plans).
Until it is shown to be otherwise, some healthy cynicism of the government’s decision to weaken environmental legislation is needed. This is reinforced by the fact environmental zone removal only applies to Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Tweed and Byron councils and nowhere else in the state.
Council supported existing land-use rights in E2 and E3 zones, so farmers could have continued to farm and not much would have changed. As a community most of us do not want to see the result of removing environmental protection, which will allow high-density development, intensive industrial agriculture, the expansion of CSG, and the development of Crown land in coastal areas. Our community for decades has fought to save rainforests, wetlands, threatened species and their habitats and other areas of high-conservation-value vegetation.
Byron Shire is unique with some of the highest numbers of threatened species in the state as well as extraordinarily rich biodiversity. For these reasons submissions that support council’s vision to enhance our environment while maintaining our beautiful and productive rural lands and amenity are needed to send a clear message to our meddling, development-driven state government to pull its head in.