Clarence Valley Independent

Close this loophole

Ed,

Re: 1984 Development application allows destruction of koala habitat in 2019.

The clearing of koala habitat at Woombah Woods Caravan Park made the national news last week-end. The story highlighted the apparent disconnect between a developer and the Woombah community, koala conservation issues and habitat protection on the North Coast. It also highlighted the seemingly huge disconnect between local government planning and the Federal taxpayer funded upgrade of the Pacific Highway.

The Pacific Highway upgrade at Woombah has cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in koala and wildlife harm minimisation measures which include constructing under highway corridors, koala grids and specialised fencing. On the other hand we appear to have archaic local government policy that may allow a 35 year old development application to be valid and instigated the clearing of prime koala habitat at Woombah with no current environment or contemporary assessment.

We hope that the State Government sees fit to intervene and amend the planning policy retrospectively to avoid any future developments that may impact on koala and koala habitat destruction and close this loophole. 

While Clarence Valley Council should investigate this matter within its capacity we also believe an independent investigation would be appropriate under the circumstances.

This sorry saga makes a mockery of the environmental protection laws that are supposedly in place in NSW for the protection of our most vulnerable and iconic Australian fauna and flora.

Annie Dorrian

Secretary

AIR (Association of Iluka Residents)

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