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Byron Shire
April 14, 2024

Feral invasion of native habitat at Bayside

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The DA for the Mills estate at bayside, Brunswick Heads, seeks to acquire all the designated 7B buffer zone/habitat area between the property boundary and Simpson’s Creek, including the public pathway, from Crown Lands for inclusion within the Mill’s development site.
The DA for the Mills estate at bayside, Brunswick Heads, seeks to acquire all the designated 7B buffer zone/habitat area between the property boundary and Simpson’s Creek, including the public pathway, from Crown Lands for inclusion within the Mill’s development site.

The proposed Mills Estate 50-lot subdivision at Bayside Brunswick Heads extends over 6.6 hectare.

Approximately 70 per cent is flat cleared wetlands, recently rezoned from General Rural (1AH) to R3 – Medium Density, in a process that bypassed community consultation!

Approximately 30 per cent of the proposed site is crown land zoned 7B coastal habitat.

The DA indicates the Mills commercial plant nursery has encroached onto 7B coastal habitat land that forms part of the wildlife corridor and adjoins Simpson’s Creek, a Marine Park Sanctuary.

Aerial photos (DA appendix Land and Fire Assessment) indicate extensive land clearing and the nursery expansion onto Crown lands occurred between 1997-2007.

The Mills DA is now seeking to acquire all the designated 7B buffer zone/habitat area between the property boundary and Simpson’s Creek, including the public pathway, from Crown Lands for inclusion within the Mill’s development site.

A ring road loops through the 7B habitat area and a large stormwater drainage pond is proposed. Lots 28, 32, 37 and 41 are located within the 7B lands. The ‘residual lot’ No 51 (19,200 square metres) is also on land zoned 7B with a dwelling site (718sqm) proposed (p67-70).

The habitat area has already been reduced by more than 50 per cent which has inevitably had an adverse impact on flora and fauna in the immediate locale.

The environmental report by Peter Parker (in Appendix) suggests the Bayside area has significant flora and fauna, but virtually none remains on the Mills ‘greenfield’ estate.

Clearing coastal habitat lands and operating a private business without permission or prior notification is certainly not permitted, yet the Mills have used public land without any repercussions or penalty from Byron Council or Crown Lands for up to 20 years.

Agreeing to the inclusion of 7B lands within the development site would surely send a very wrong signal: will Planning officers/Crown Land reps exonerate and reward landowners for the inappropriate clearing and encroachment of protected crown lands? At what cost?

Michele Grant, Foreshore Protection Group 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Michele for this story. I live just across from the Mills property and have witnessed the progressive felling of trees over the past few years. I had not a clue that this was a protected habitat zone.
    The numerous large trees that once existed included numerous Koala feeding gums. Mr Mills has extended his tree Nursery onto this land and the only trees left are two very old ghost gums. I am horrified that such destruction has gone on and I assumed that Mr Mills had only been clearing what he would have received the proper permission to clear. I can say that Mr Mills is intent on having cleared land it is all but totally leveled. I was told that a bicycle track to Byron was to go through that parcel of land but you could drive a couple of semi,s side by side through. No way to get to Byron through that property unless hundreds more trees were to be chopped and bridges across creeks were built. I am not sure how such a stupid thing could be said, but that is not right. It is certainly not right to chop down a protected habitat.

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