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Byron Shire
June 14, 2024

Biodiversity offsetting subject of inquiry

Latest News

Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.

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A deeper dive into plans to abandon Mullum’s local water supply

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Concerns over potential impact of piggery DA 

Plans submitted to Council earlier this year for the historic old Skinners Shoot piggery at 103 Yagers Lane have raised concerns with residents.

New Australian Marbles Champion

After a five-year hiatus the battle for the title of Australian Marbles Champion again took place as part of the Old & Gold Festival held in Brunswick Heads last Saturday.

Interview with Nicki Parrott

After three decades of touring and performing in the US, Europe and Japan, acclaimed jazz musician Nicki Parrott is making a triumphant return to her homeland, bringing with her a new album Feelin’ Groovy – that pays homage to the iconic sounds of the sixties and draws inspiration from the carefree lifestyle of her new home in the Byron Shire.

The Critically Endangered Mitchells Rainforest Snail found on the margins of the Cumbebin Wetlands, where the land was cleared for the Byron bypass. The Byron Shire Council was required to use biodiversity offsets so that they could clear the area. Image supplied.

The NSW Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee have announced an inquiry into the government’s biodiversity offsetting scheme.

The offsetting scheme allows flora and fauna to be destroyed/removed for development purposes and replaced, like-for-like, in other areas.

Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said, ‘Essentially, the scheme treats nature like a Magic Pudding that developers can keep eating forever if they throw enough cash into a tin. The offsets system has been designed so the government never has to say no to developers’.  

Bypass used offsets

The contentious Byron Butler Street bypass project was approved with the offset scheme. In 2017, The Echo reported that (now former Greens) Mayor Simon Richardson’s motion to commence work was supported by Crs Martin, Lyon, Ndiaye, Hunter and Spooner. Crs Coorey, Cameron and Hackett voted against.

Examination of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme that Council use to clear native vegetation at the southern end of Butler Street for the project was been criticised by legal public interest NGO, the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) in January 2019.

Gambian added, ‘There have been serious concerns about the government’s new biodiversity offsets scheme since it was introduced as part of its suite of weakened land-clearing and nature laws in 2017’.


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