4 days to protect our biodiversity!


mullum farmscape

Byron Shire Council has proposed Environmental Zones (Ezones) on exhibition until Friday 8 December.

Council is proposing most High Ecological Value (HEV) vegetation in Byron Shire be in Ezones. HEV includes:

  • lands protected for conservation;
  • Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) such as Lowland Rainforest;
  • ecosystems and landscapes that have been over-cleared (>70%), and
  • Government identified key habitat for threatened animals and high quality habitat for koalas.

E-zones are needed to stop clearing, to let Council have a say in regulating logging and to stop inappropriate development of HEV vegetation. This is more important now than ever as the NSW Government is opening up native vegetation for widespread clearing and their logging rules are nearly meaningless.

We must protect our remnant vegetation from the excesses of the State Government and the risk of exploitation by occasional unscrupulous landowners.

We urge you to make a submission to Council on this issue of crucial importance to our environmental future. SEND TO: submissions@byron.nsw.gov.au

Don’t forget to congratulate Council for doing improved mapping of vegetation throughout the Shire and undertaking a comprehensive identification of Ezones. There are still a few important issues we think need addressing.

Some points you may wish to raise:

  • Council should not have removed all High Ecological Value vegetation (mostly rainforest) on properties identified by Dept of Primary Industries (DPI) as having plantations somewhere on them.  DPI must provide accurate maps of claimed plantations and these must be reviewed for accuracy by Council.
  • Council must require Government agencies (Environmental Protection Agency, Local Landcare Services, Office of Environment and Heritage) to provide maps of all land required to be managed for conservation in accordance with conservation agreements, property plans and the like.
  • All Crown Lands managed for conservation (ie Byrangerry, Paterson Hill, Wordsworth Street), and land purchased for addition to National Parks, should be zoned in their entirety as E1 zones.
  • All HEV vegetation on land managed by Council, and the entirety of lots of Council Community Land Categorised as Natural Areas, should be considered for addition to Ezones, except where too small and isolated.
  • All high quality Koala habitat needs to be protected in Ezones;
  • All native vegetation in existing environmental zones should be zoned as either E2 or E3. Particular attention should be paid to protecting the scenic and wildlife corridor functions of existing 7d ‘Scenic’ zones, including by extending some level of protection to stands with 51-80% Camphor Laurel. Particular attention needs to focus on the wildlife corridor links behind Suffolk Park and at Yelgun, and the scenic slopes of the Chincogan Mountains and below Saint Helena Road-Coolamon Scenic-Drive.
  • Council must undertake a review of all development approvals for residential subdivisions (including community title and Multiple Occupancies), festival sites and the like to identify areas required to be managed for conservation, as well as identifying specific areas approved for development, to take into account in zoning.
  • Council must undertake a review of urban and tourist zones with the the aim of removing most E2 zones from urban lots, streets and heavily disturbed areas (ie camping grounds and cabin areas).
  • Council must undertake a comprehensive review of Ezone boundaries in the vicinity of rural houses to rationalise boundaries, ensuring exclusion of houses and significantly disturbed areas (lawns, gardens, sheds, car parks etc).

NB – All lawful existing uses are allowed to continue, and environmental protection works are permitted without consent, in Ezones.

** The NSW Government is insisting that new ‘extensive agriculture’ (cropping, grazing, dairy farming) be allowed in all E3 zones and with consent in E2 zones. You may also want to object to this.

SEND TO: submissions@byron.nsw.gov.au


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