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Byron Shire
July 23, 2024

Harris replies to Millege

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Tweed council catching up on DA backlog

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Rex Harris, Bangalow

David Milledge (Letters, November 9), the only person who has advanced an argument to excise environmental zones and overlays from currently zoned rural land in the Draft Byron LEP 2012, was the minister of planning for NSW.

A group of landowners, including myself, have been alerting rural landowners to the many mistakes, conflicts and lack of professional due diligence that exists with the draft Byron LEP. We are urging rural landowners to study what is on exhibition and make a submission to Council if necessary. We have never promoted excising E-zones – just complained about the inaccuracies, poor data and flawed maps.

At Piccadilly Park we practise sustainable agriculture, have been biodiversity generators by the planting of 60,000+ rainforest trees of some 140 varieties along our riparian zones and within high-sensitivity areas. We have installed dozens of nesting devices, native stingless bee hives, and yet the draft LEP inflicts punitive measures against us, overlaying a wildlife corridor of approx 100 acres of highly productive state-significant farmland. The corridor overlay comes with planning restrictions and draconian financial requirements that are only proposed in Byron Shire – and not one of the other 151 councils in NSW.

Many people associated with the Big Scrub Landcare Group, the DPI, the Macadamia Society, colleges and universities use the property for field days to encourage others to do similar regeneration or conservation work or study aspects of biodiversity or species etc. Most of those people who came for conservation inspiration will now be re-thinking or be concerned about such work on their own properties.

We respect your work and aren’t about matching the disingenuous label you gave us. We all need to work together to achieve genuine biodiversity outcomes. Let’s encourages farmers to regenerate rural land by inspiration and example rather than regulation and draconian measures.

Please come and visit. I can show you dozens of similarly minded farmers doing the same.

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