Sixty-six paddlers left the end of Iron Gates Drive, Evans Head on Sunday and paddled under the Evans Head Bridge to make their views crystal clear on muddy waters.
The paddlers were peaceful in their protest about the state of the river’s health – the flotilla of various craft and loyal supporters and support crew welcomed the armada of boards, SUPs, kayaks, canoes and even two floating flamingos.
The ‘Rescue the River’ paddle was organised to generate action to clean up the Evans River.
Paddle co-organiser Ian Rankin said thet river water quality is officially rated poor, especially after rain. ‘We can all do our bit to clean it up,’ he said. ‘I call on the Richmond Valley Council to work in partnership with the community to deliver change and a cleaner Evans River.’
Tilly O’Connell, who grew up in Evans, spoke about the challenge of the resurrected Iron Gates Development Application. ‘It does not make sense to destroy Aboriginal heritage, dig up the habitat of threatened species and put our marine life at risk for 175 home sites on the riverbank,’she said. ‘I am the second generation of my family fighting this development. It will be a disaster for the Evans River, a river I want my children to enjoy it as much as I have.’
Paddlers and supporters cheered the ambition to make the Evans River, safe for us, safe for our families and safe for visitors to this beautiful village.
The paddlers formed their craft into a giant ‘NO’ on the water. NO to further pollution, NO to damaging developments and NO to the high-density Iron Gates Housing Estate.
Public submissions on DA 2015/0096 Iron Gates Residential Subdivision, Evans Head close Monday 18 November at 4.30 pm.
Paddlers and their supporters wrote submissions to be handed in at the Council office. Anyone who had not put their views to Richmond Valley Council vowed to email their objections when they got home.
Stop Iron Gates is aware of well over one hundred submissions against the proposal that have been lodged, they say in all likelihood, many more than that, have been submitted.
It is open to all members of the public to comment – email your concerns to [email protected] include ‘DA 2015/0096’, by 4.30 today.