Hundreds of locals are rallying together in a bid to save a large pocket of ecologically significant bushland in Brunswick Heads from development. The 30-hectare site at 15 Torakina Road, next to the Bayside housing estate, is home to scores of native trees and flowers, which provide food and shelter to koalas, black cockatoos, gliders and the ‘vulnerable’ Wallum froglet.
However, the site has been approved for a major housing development, known as Wallum, featuring 124 residential lots, three medium density lots and a series of roads and supporting infrastructure.
With public consultation for the development taking place during the worst of the Covid pandemic, many locals feel that they were denied the right to have their say.
They are now demanding that the decision to approve the development, made by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) in May this year, be reversed.
‘Wallum wildflowers and the intricately-linked Wallum froglet habitat are rare, and cannot be re-made or replanted successfully by humans, and deserve unreserved protection in our Shire,’ said James Barrie, one of the leaders of the conservation campaign.
In its Development Application, Clarence Property says that over 18 hectares, or 60 per cent of the site, will be retained and enhanced as conservation zones. They say this will effectively negate any impact on native species.
Yet Mr Barrie describes it as offset green-washing. ‘The ecological offsets detailed in the “landscape plan” come up seriously short and are grossly inaccurate in claims of preserving the ecology on the ground’, he said.