Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay
It is now over six weeks since Don Page intervened to get environmental zones and overlays excised from the Byron and Ballina Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) and he still will not tell his electorate what he will allow to be later reinstated into environmental zones and under what conditions.
Despite the confusion this has caused, Byron Council is proceeding with exhibition of its LEP until November 23. So it is important for people who care about native vegetation and wildlife corridors to make submissions supporting these.
The E2 zone applies to native vegetation identified as high conservation value (HCV) in accordance with the 2004 Byron Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. This includes rare, endangered and vulnerable ecosystems, rainforest, oldgrowth forest, wetlands, koala habitat, key fauna habitat, shorebird roost and nest sites, and flying fox camps.
The key issue for this community is what, if any, categories of HCV native vegetation it thinks should be protected in E2 zoning. Tell Council what you think.
All landowners can continue to practise existing lawful uses irrespective of the new zoning. The E2 zoning is proposed to allow environmental protection works without consent and new dwellings with consent, but will prohibit new mining, logging and large residential and commercial developments. Tell Council what new developments you think should be prohibited in HCV native vegetation, if any.
The vegetation mapping was updated in 2007. This should be the chance to fix any mapping problems.
The E3 zoning is proposed to apply to the cleared parts of the existing scenic escarpment (7D) and Wilsons Creek water catchment (7C) zones that have been in place since 1988. It is proposed to allow extensive agriculture without consent, and a wide range of new developments with consent, though new mining is still prohibited.
Tell Council if you think protection for our major scenic escarpments and the headwaters of Wilsons Creek should be maintained.
The biodiversity overlay comprises identified wildlife corridors and endangered ecological communities. It is intended to ensure new developments minimise adverse biodiversity impacts and requires environmental enhancement works where impacts can’t be avoided.
Don Page has made it clear that ‘any proposed environmental overlays on land that is clearly rural would be removed’. Tell Council if you disagree with Don Page and think mapped wildlife corridors should be taken into account when planning new developments.
Byron Rural Action Group is apparently feeling confident that they have got rid of environmental zones and wildlife corridors as they have now shifted their attention to getting rid of any limits on new developments near streams.
The riparian land and watercourses layer in the LEP simply requires that any new development (requiring consent) proposed within 40m of a mapped stream attempts to minimise its impacts on fish, water quality, stream banks and riparian ecosystems.
Tell Council if you want these impacts to be considered when new developments are proposed.
Please also let Don Page know what you think.