Blueberry Chemical spray drift and run-of close to Korora primary school and residents

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This is aimed against all blueberry farms close to schools, residential properties, large lot residential R5 and recreational areas in Coffs Harbour. 
There are new (yellow) and existing (purple) blueberry farm operations in Korora that requires DA approval. The first DA applications for Blueberry farms in Coffs Harbour.
The farms in purple are in process to prepare their DA applications. Due to pressure from the neighbourhood and changes in their farming, they have been instructed by Council to lodge their applications. The Chemical spray drift travels across the highway to the school (Red)  and other surrounding residents and up into the valley. The residents in the valley on R5 zoning, rely on tank water.  Several rainwater tanks were tested in COFFS Harbour and very harmful chemicals were found. 

Against strong winds, these chemicals can be transported and settle more than 2km from the area they were originally sprayed in. That’s from Sapphire to the Big Banana. This puts the school in the centre of the danger zone, allowing for students and teachers, and residing neighbours, to be exposed the hazardous chemicals used to treat these crops.
These chemicals are in the air we breathe, in our water tanks, on our lawns where we play, the balconies we have a bbq, on our clothes that dry on the washing lines, etc.  We can’t get away from it.

Fungicides, herbicides and insecticides are all pesticides used in plant protection. A fungicide is a specific type of pesticide that controls fungal disease by specifically inhibiting or killing the fungus causing the disease. Not all diseases caused by fungi can be adequately controlled by fungicides. Respiratory exposure is particularly hazardous because pesticide particles can be rapidly absorbed by the lungs into the bloodstream. pesticides can cause serious damage to nose, throat, and lung tissue if inhaled in sufficient amounts. Vapors and very small particles pose the most serious risks.

Pesticide exposure can adversely affect the neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems, even at low levels.

The chemicals also run into the adjacent creek and through the neighbourhood into the ocean into Solitary Island Marine Protection Zone. One of only 6 protected zones in NSW. It has already caused damage to our marine life.
The high nitrates from run off in the water has caused all the ducks to die, at Bangalow Waters. It takes one look at the water in the creek to see that the eco system is unbalanced. All these factors affects life quality, health and reduces desirability to live in this area thus affecting residential property values, negatively impact tourism, the visual amenity and the scenic quality of our area. 
Blueberry farming is against the zoning objectives of this location. 
These farms are now compelled by the Council to lodge a DA Application for approval.  They are not lawful and if they get approval, they may be allowed to continue their farming in this area. The new farm further up, is right next to the waterfall ( in times of abundant rain) on watercourse  and the other right next to the highway and in very close proximity to Korora primary school, as indicated in photo. Despite being notified by the council and other residents that netting and intensification of farming is not allowed in this area, the respective farmer still went ahead and prepared his land and planted his blueberries. 

As residents we need to act now. Don’t be complacent. We have a right to peaceful enjoyment of our properties and a Healthy Sustainable Environment.  
The result of these farming practices will be lasting on future generations and so we must act now to minimise both human and environmental destruction.

We need to say no.  Please sign the petition.  

OR take action and submit a written submission to the General Manager at Coffs Harbour Council. 

Submissions should include your name, address, email, phone number, and the Application number:  DA0891/19 All submissions can be emailed to Coffs Council


Submission guidlines can be obtained from the council website