1000 support coast protection
MORE than 1000 Ballina Shire residents have put their name to a petition calling on the State Government to allow Ballina Shire Council to give the Crown land in the coastal strip from Flat Rock to Lennox Head the highest environmental protection in the new Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
North East Surfers’ Alliance president Ed Standfield said some of the signatories had said the Crown land from North Wall to Lennox should all be included in the E1 zone in the new LEP, the draft of which is currently on exhibition.
State Member for Ballina, Don Page, has supported the petition, and made representation to the NSW Minister for Planning calling for the government to allow council to give land in their local government area the highest environmental protection.
The new LEP has been prepared over the last four years with a template from the Department of Planning.
Under the new LEP template, councils can only include land in the E1 zone that has already been reserved as a national park or nature reserve under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
The area from Flat Rock to Lennox Head has not been reserved under that Act.
Mr Page has previously described the Crown land in the coastal strip to the east of The Coast Road as ‘iconic’ to the region.
He said that it was unsatisfactory that council could only zone that land as E2, which, in the draft LEP, includes a host of land uses permissible with council’s consent.
At a public meeting on the draft LEP in Ballina a fortnight ago, he said he didn’t think the current council would allow the kinds of development permitted with consent in the E2 zone, but feared future councils many choose to develop some of the land.
Mr Standfield agrees.
“It’s the future,” he said.
He said ‘you can’t decide what the area is like from a desk in Sydney’.
About a dozen volunteers have been door-knocking around the shire with the petition.
The petition also has been placed at several local businesses in Ballina and Lennox Head.