Thanks to The Echo for your continued interest in Council’s proposed bioenergy facility. Council are currently finalising the development application (DA) before it goes to the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), the forum where regionally significant developments are determined.
Despite Council’s strong institutional interest in proper process, its conduct in this matter has been less than satisfactory. One example is the way the environmental impact statement (EIS) narrowly focuses on the footprint of the proposed plant, while ignoring the potential impact on the adjacent ‘award winning’ wetlands.
Community consultation is another. Byron Bird Buddies (BBB) have been contracted by Council to conduct avian species surveys at the wetlands for the past 16 years, yet we were not consulted until after the DA was publicly exhibited. Our feedback could not, therefore, inform anything substantive about the project – like choosing another, more appropriate site, one with less biodiversity value.
Council’s cynical use of developer tactics is unbecoming. Shouting ‘net zero’ is one thing, listening to the community and protecting local critical habitat is quite another.