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February 25, 2021

Activist warns of legal action over Iron Gates

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A section of the Iron Gates site that was cleared last year without approvals. (supplied)
A section of the Iron Gates site that was cleared last year without approvals. (supplied)

He’s done it once, and now vowed to do it again.

Lismore activist Al Oshlack has put Richmond Valley Council on notice that he will launch legal action to stop a proposed residential development at the Iron Gates site in Evans Head.

Campaigner Al Oshlack. (Darren Coyne)
Campaigner Al Oshlack. (Darren Coyne)

The council has had a development application to build 184 lots on the site on display, but opponents say it lacks critical information, including an approved master plan.

A previous application was withdrawn last year because the state government refused to waiver the requirement of a master plan, despite a request from the developer, Mr Graeme Ingles of Gold Coral Pty Ltd.

Mr Ingles was the director the original application to develop the site, which was knocked on the head by the NSW Land and Environment Court following legal challenges and blockades by opponents.

Mr Oshlack  said the council’s own lawyers had advised that an existing road has
no development approval, and to obtain a consent would require an environmental impact statement. Echonetdaily has viewed the lawyers advice to the council.

‘As for the subdivision itself nothing has changed as regard the suite of endangered species and their habitats which will be impacted despite the illegal onslaught by Mr Ingles and his ‘thin corporate
veil’ company attempt to bulldoze them out of existence,’ he said.

‘It is the first principle of law and well founded that a person cannot rely on an illegality to obtain a legitimate approval.

Mr Oshlack said the developer, Graham Ingles of Gold Coral, wanted to use illegal infrastructure on the site as much as possible for the development.

‘I need to say no more on this as it is obvious that is not ever going to happen as  if it’s not criminal it is contemptible in the least,’ he said.

Mr Oshlack also took a swipe at Mr Ingles, saying he had a poor track record of complying with environmental and planning laws.

‘The applicants director has failed to comply with court orders to remediate past damage to the site caused by unlawful activities,’ he said.

‘In addition to this, recent clearing of native vegetation on the site is currently under investigation by the NSW Government.’

‘Approval of the application for development would condone the director’s previous unlawful activity on this site. It would also fail to deter other developers from breaching the law in relation to any future development in the region.’



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  1. Go Al !
    Developers have had unmitigated ‘open slather’ by merely espousing the mantra of “development” and relying on the ‘cargo cult’ mentality of local government ie. destroy the environment and they will come !
    I have to admire Mr. Oshlack’s tenacity and determination to stop this abomination , which if it went ahead could only be described as the proceeds of crime.

  2. Bravo Al.

    What would our environment look like without people like yourself.

    Developers with dollar signs in their eyes would be crawling all over our pristine coastal plain like mindless prehistoric monsters devouring all and leaving behind great clumps of toxic detritus in the form of housing estates.


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