Right now, the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure is deciding the future of over 27 000 hectares1 of the far north coast’s forests, wetlands and wildlife habitats – protect for the future or open up to short-sighted destructive development?
This includes most native vegetation and wildlife habitats outside the National Parks estate in Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore & Kyogle Shires, and makes up over 30% of our region’s natural areas. Without protection, these unique areas are left vulnerable to huge residential and tourism developments proposed along our coast, and the expansion of coal seam gas (CSG), logging, mining and intensive agriculture in our rural hinterland.
Our local Councils are trying to protect these last remaining areas in environmental protection zones, but they are facing huge pressure from developers and the NSW Government to abandon protection for short-sighted economic growth.
Our region is a recognised biodiversity hotspot of national importance, and our natural areas underpin our stunning landscapes and our treasured way of life. The remaining natural areas are already under enormous pressure from population growth and climate change, and now is the time we should be renewing our efforts to protect our last remnants. Yet the Government wants to make it easier for damaging activities to be approved in our most sensitive and vulnerable natural areas.
Environmental protection zones have protected our forests, wetlands and wildlife habitats for 25 years, but now these protections are being stripped away to make way for short-sighted development. Join us in telling the Minister we want our environment protected from inappropriate development.
- Total area of E2 & E3 zoned lands to be excised in affected shires. Source: Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore & Kyogle Draft LEPs.