E-zones (newly named E2, E3 & E4) are often the only thing standing between our precious natural areas and potentially destructive development. Environmental zones have been applied in NSW for more than 30 years1, and provide the most basic layer of protection in our hard-won system of environmental protection laws – providing the essential trigger for independent assessment, community consultation and all other protection laws.
Without E-zones these other layers may never be triggered, leaving our fragile natural areas wide-open to destructive and short-sighted development.
E-zones trigger a science-based assessment of potentially destructive developments in fragile areas. These assessments are essential for ensuring the broader public interest is also considered, and not just the landowner’s bottom line.
E-zones trigger community consultation when other community members will also be affected by the development. If your neighbour wants to clear some forest beside your house, or Council plans to clear your local bushland for a sports field, you would expect to be notified and allowed to comment.
E-zones give you these basic rights when it comes to destructive developments in natural areas.
Other Protection Laws
It’s true that environmental regulations are diverse and complex. And that’s the trouble – many landowners don’t know if any laws apply to the natural areas on their property. And that’s where E-zones come in. If a landowner is required to talk to Council about their plans, this is when they’ll learn of any other protections and what their options are. Without E-zones – without the need to talk to Council first – most landowners see this as a green light and will clear an area, even if it’s illegal under several laws.
- NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979