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Byron Shire
April 23, 2024

Wallum’s serious flaws

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The efforts to save Wallum have brought to light serious flaws in planning approvals. This is a zombie DA using out-of-date assessments. Mayor Michael Lyon was very clear that if it came to Byron Council today it would not be approved. However, he claims Council had to approve it because it had already been approved by the state government’s Northern Rivers Planning Panel.

Simon Richardson, who was part of the NRPP, said the panel had to approve it because it already had approval from Council. Catch 22.

Then it gets more crazy. Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Minister for Environment, says it is a state and local matter. That isn’t entirely true as she has the power to call in the development for assessment under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Act.

What is most batshit crazy of all is that developers are supposed to self-refer their developments for assessments. Not surprisingly, Clarence Property has not – although there are a number of endangered species on the site as documented on the Save Wallum website.

Another piece of bullshit is the idea that this is degraded farmland. It isn’t. The aerial photos show slashed heath. That is wetland. That is frog habitat. There are no weeds at Wallum. No European plants. Everything that grows there has evolved to survive and thrive in unique conditions. Under a thin layer of sand there is coffee rock, a mix of peat and sand and it acts like a giant sponge soaking up water. Clarence Property wants to cover that giant sponge with two metres of fill. That would be an environmental disaster.

Here is a challenge to Clarence Property. Simon Kennedy, CEO, please refer Wallum Estate for assessment under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Act. If you don’t it is pretty much an admission it would fail.  Clarence Property, what is your response?

Amanda Midlam, Main Arm

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