Don Page needs to clean up his mess before he goes.
In June 2012 Don voted to allow recreational shooting in all national parks and nature reserves in his electorate at the discretion of the environment minister.
Before he goes he needs to stop this threat by adding our reserves to those already listed for exclusion by his Sydney colleagues.
Don intervened in September 2012 to stop north coast councils from including environmental protection zones in their Local Environmental Plans, supposedly for six months while a review was undertaken.
We are still waiting. Meanwhile, councils have had to cookie-cut environmental zones out of new LEPs.
He must restore councils’ rights to protect rainforest, old-growth forest, endangered ecological communities, core koala habitat and other high conservation value lands before they are opened up for development and logging.
Don supported his government’s intervention in March 2013 to allow shore-based fishing in Cape Byron Marine Park’s sanctuary zones.
Again this was supposedly for only six months while a review was undertaken and yet it is still open season on our sanctuary zones. He must restore the integrity of Cape Byron’s sanctuary zones.
In July 2013 Don claimed credit for changing the law to allow trees from native forests to be burnt to generate electricity, which recently came into effect and has the potential to be disastrous for forests in his electorate and throughout NSW.
And now he refuses to intervene over West Byron to ensure that there are proper assessments of koalas, acid sulfate soils and traffic.
Similarly, he appears deaf to pleas from Ballina Shire Council to move the proposed route of the Pacific Highway south of Ballina to avoid core koala habitat.
Don’s three years in power have been an environmental disaster for his electorate and NSW.
He has the rest of this year to undo some of his environmental vandalism, though I suspect he will just add to it.
Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay