A Byron-based environment group has launched a crowd funding campaign to take legal action against Byron shire council over the proposed Belongil rock wall.
The group Positive Change for Marine Life expects that a ruling will be issued at 1.30pm today that will ensure an environmental impact study is carried out before any construction begins on the controversial wall.
The group went to the court in a last-ditch bit to halt construction of the controversial wall, which it claims will cause erosion further up the coast.
Protesters descended on Belongil Beach on Wednesday with placards drawing attention to the fight.
Positive Change for Marine Life founder Karl Goodsell said the group had decided to explore legal options ‘in light of the evidence of environmental impacts created by walls such as these’.
The group, which has partnered with the NSW Environmental Defenders Office to launch the legal action, said environmental and social impacts had not been addressed.
They have requested that they be given 72 hours notice of construction, which the Byron shire council has agreed to.
‘This is a band-aid fix to a very complex problem, one that will only be exacerbated as climate induced sea level rise increases,’ Mr Goodsell said.
‘We are deeply concerned that this wall will have a negative impact on coastal geomorphology and contribute to further coastal erosion and environmental problems long into the future.
‘Community groups, scientists, coastal experts, four of nine Byron Shire Councillors, even the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW Coastal Panel have expressed serious concerns with the wall and, having exhausted all other avenues, we have decided to take this matter further.’
Mr Goodsell said Positive Change for Marine Life’s legal team had outlined that they will provide 48 hours notice before taking further action if their demands for an EIS are not met.
With legal fees and independent expert reports being undertaken, the group has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds necessary to ensure that they can continue their work.
They are calling on concerned residents, businesses and visitors to chip in and help them protect Byron Bay’s unique natural environment.
To find out more and to donate to their campaign visit their website: www.positivechangeformarinelife.org