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Byron Shire
April 17, 2024

Call for moratorium on zombie DAs

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Save Wallum Zombie March. Photo Mac Maderski.

Dressed as zombies, around one hundred Save Wallum supporters marched to the Wallum site in Brunswick Heads yesterday, calling for an immediate moratorium on all NSW zombie DAs, including Wallum at Brunswick Heads.

‘You are literally holding a frontline between extinction and survival,’ said Greens MLC Susan Higginson, at the conclusion of this morning’s zombie march in Brunswick Heads.

Save Wallum Zombie March. Photo Beverley Callow.

‘We must stand strong together. You are mighty powerful. You are the frontline. You are even bigger than this magic place, Wallum, and together we are going to win this,’ she said.

Joining Susan Higginson and the Brunswick community in the zombie march was retiring Australian Greens Senator Janet Rice and federal Greens candidate for Richmond Mandy Nolan.

Senator Rice joins possums

Saying she was inspired by the day and the Wallum ecosystem, Senator Janet Rice chose to join the human ‘possums; in one of the ancient scribbly gum trees earmarked for the bulldozers. Senator Rice was hoisted into the grandmother scribbly gum and celebrated by the Save Wallum community.

Senator Janet Rice up a tree at Wallum. Photo Janet Rice.

‘This Country is so special and it’s such a privilege to be here’, said Senator Rice. ‘The power of the tree and the air we breathe, being here protecting nature, protecting Country.’

Later, Senator Rice wrote in a public social media post that ‘security guards and then police were on site today as I was up the tree.

‘I was tempted to stay up the tree and risk arrest for doing so, but instead have promised the community that if we get to the point of blockading bulldozers I will be there with them and will put my body on the line then.’


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Calling the Wallum development a Zombie DA is simply rubbish and not reporting the actual facts by The Echo. The Part 3A concept plan was granted in 2013, the original DA in 2017, physical commencement was obtained with the construction of 12 lots registered in 2019. Since then the development has been sold, the footprint and number of lots reduced prior to getting a more environmentally friendly DA in 2023.

      • Clearly you haven’t had much to do with getting approvals from councils and government departments. I doubt there is a single large development in NSW in recent times that has been designed, approved and constructed inside 10 years.

  2. Thanks John
    Sadly the real facts about this development are lacking in the save Wallum campaign. The website is laughable and full of dramatic slogans, if a quarter of what they claim was true I’d be throwing myself in front of the dozers.
    Bayside is not luxury housing, it has traditionally taken the overflow from Brunswick Heads and been a cheaper alternative for local families.
    The development will go ahead I just hope the protesters give in gracefully and let the local workers safely get on with the job of building more much needed housing .

    • Bayside may have traditionally served this purpose, but from the start Clarence Property have been touting this as a Luxury Housing development. It is obvious if you look at the other similar developments they compare this estate to, that this was never intended to be affordable housing or a cheaper alternative to help with the shire’s housing crisis. Local families would certainly be priced out by this estate.
      Epic Lennox: https://epiqlennox.com.au/now-selling/house-land-packages/
      Yamba Quays (blocks from $610,000 – $1,050,000): https://yambaquays.com.au/listings/

      • Jenny, It is the market not the developer who ultimately determine what a block of land is worth & it is not the responsibility of a developer to provide affordable community housing. There is no such thing as affordable land on the coast any more nor is there a cheap house. The only way to get more affordable land is to make more land available. Stopping approved developments certainly doesn’t help.

  3. Central to the fight to save Wallum is a very important idea. Now is the time to set aside critical areas of habitat as climate refugia, as the first step in nature based adaptation for the future. Recovery is only one part of the equation. Adaptation and mitigation is the other. As the climate changes, saving these areas will become even more crucial. Therefore we should start now. The type of housing that is desperately needed, is public housing, affordable housing, community and co-housing. There are other places that the type of housing planned by Clarence can go. I thank Janet Rice for coming here and standing with community. Climate has changed, old thinking needs to be challenged, this conversation has been opened up by community, a community that includes experienced and highly skilled environmental scientists and thinkers, and all of us who hope for a better future.

  4. The facts include that a sixth mass extinction of species is under way on a global scale. The Wallum project is on a rare ecosystem which is itself on a rare geological stratum. There are a significant number of federally-recognised endangered species using this land (designated “coastal wallum heathland”). Even if the DA was found not to be in the zombie class, which it is, the land and these species are totally worth protecting. Northern Rivers people are not generally here to do their bit for the sixth mass extinction.

  5. T endangered species using this land (designated “coastal wallum heathland”). Even if the DA was found not to be in the zombie class, which it is, the land and these species are totally worth protecting. Northern Rivers people are not generally here to do their bit for the sixth mass extinction.

  6. The Wallum DA clearly has no social licence and the community has shown this development is not in the public interest. This DA is not assessed against current standards and will clear vegetation recognised by the State Government and Byron Shire Council as ecologically significant and threatened species habitat. The Wallum development needs to rely on old planning regulations that are now in the rubbish bin of history as they are not fit for purpose. It looks like a zombie development and smells like a zombie development to me.

  7. Of course Wallum is a zombie development. The approvals that were given are out of date with current standards. That makes it a zombie development. John Someone is looking at legal loopholes but if you look at it ethically, or environmentally, or socially, of course it is a zombie.

    One of the real facts about this development is that it would not be approved under current legislation. If Clarence Property thinks otherwise they could clear this up by referring Wallum for assessmentsunder EPBC Act. Tanya Plibersek’s office has advised Clarence Propetty of their obligations.

    What is the delay, Clarence?

    This is not an environmentally friendly DA. It aims at destroying thriving habitat and replacing with nesting boxes and artificial ponds. Another of the real facts is there are many species that qualify as Matters of National Signficance on the site.

    As for the statement that “traditionally” Bayside has taken the overflow of people from Brunswick Heads, how long are you talking about? Traditionally Wallum was used as an ancient pathway for thousands of years , perhaps tens of thousands, and many would like to preserve that.

    As for the statement that the planned development is not luxury housing, that is a very privileged outlook. I guess Jill Someone is white, not homeless, not living in a pod and is wealthy enough to think spending over $1 million on land and house is not luxury.

    Wallum needs to be saved. And it will be. Because Wallum protectors are not going away. Buikd housing elsewhere. Not or rare and irreplaceable heathland.

    • Amanda, DA approval conditions that are physically commenced don’t get amended by subsequent changes to engineering, planning or environmental guidelines.

  8. The website abounds with facts. MNES – Matters of National Environmental Significance are clearly there as attested to by reputable ecologists.
    These houses will not help those who cannot afford the sites valued at $660,000 before adding the cost of building on them.

  9. The projected Wallum development would lead to catastrophic impacts on the rare “coastal wallum heathland” in question. This ecosystem itself is based on an equally rare and special geological stratum known as “coffee rock”. The area is home to a significant number of federally-recognised endangered species, and over a hundred species of birds have been seen there in the last couple of years. On a global level, there is the sixth mass extinction well under way. Regardless of whether the DA is in the zombie class or not, and it is, along with dozens of others now the subject of a State investigation, this piece of land with its ancient scribbly gums richly deserves protection. People of Northern Rivers are not here to do their bit for the sixth mass extinction. Homes are indeed needed for local workers, but not more desirable beachside residences in a sacrifice zone.

  10. All money grubbers who don’t care about the environment or community go back to Sydney Melbourne Brisbane where you belong . definitely should be banned from living on the north coast that’s for sure building on floodplains should be banned Australia wide . We don’t have a housing problem we have a air bnb problem with 48 thousand houses vacant in NSW alone so we don’t need more housing just no air b n bs the changing culture of the north coast is very noticeable in the last five years because of the freeway and of course COVID and it’s not for the better that’s for sure .

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