Petition Closed

The NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure is planning to wipe out environmental protection from over 27 000 hectares of the far north coast’s forests, wetlands and wildlife habitats to allow fast-tracking of destructive developments.

The far north coast of NSW is renowned as an area of great natural beauty. It is a recognised biodiversity hotspot of national and international significance and has the highest numbers of threatened plants and animals in NSW. Private and crown lands of the region support rain forests of world heritage value, remnant patches of magnificent old-growth forests, endangered ecosystems, and critical habitat for a wide range of threatened species. Without local environment protection zones many of these areas will be left vulnerable to inappropriate development.

If the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure removes protection from this biodiversity wonderland, it is likely that clearing, habitat destruction, logging and intensive developments will accelerate unchecked. This will not only destroy a stunning landscape known and loved by many people, but also the homes of many of Australia's rare and unique species. Can you imagine the far north coast of NSW without rainforests, koalas, tree frogs and bird wing butterfly's?

Can you image the beaches, green rolling hills and escarpments covered with inappropriate developments instead of stunning native forests? We can't either. Please help SAVE NORTH COAST NATURE.

Learn more at http://northcoastnature.org.au

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Letter to
NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure Brad Hazzard
NSW Minister for Local Government & Minister for North Coast Don Page (NSW Minister for Local Government & Minister for North Coast)
Dear Minister Hazzard,

I urge you not to wind back key environmental protections on the far north coast to allow fast-tracking of destructive developments. Please ensure your review gives due consideration to the extensive community support, rigorous scientific assessment and policy framework supporting environment zones in our region.

I am concerned your review is strongly biased toward supporting narrow private interests over the broader community need for environmental protection. A concern prompted partly by your comment (Press Release 20/09/12) - "this Government is not going to stop farmers and other existing landowners from carrying on their businesses through overly restrictive environmental zones”.

I remind you that the north coast is a recognised biodiversity hotspot of national and international significance, and has the greatest number of plant and animal species threatened with extinction in NSW. Private and crown lands of the region support rain forests of world heritage value, remnant patches of rare old-growth forests, endangered ecosystems, and critical habitat for a wide range of threatened species. Without local environment protection zones many of these areas will be left vulnerable to inappropriate development.

Our natural areas underpin the region's $1 billion tourism industry, and our community values it's natural environment as highly as anywhere in NSW and is proud to have a relatively high proportion of land proposed for environmental protection.

Our community deserves an unbiased and balanced review of these key environmental protections, and I urge you to ensure the review:

1. considers the extensive policy framework, scientific assessment, and engagement of community, industry and stakeholders which underpin the application of environmental protection zones within the region

2. identifies any mapping problems and outlines means of rectifying them

3. identifies all environmentally significant areas that have not been adequately protected by environmental protection zones, including extensive areas old-growth forest, rainforest and koala habitat throughout the region.

4. justifies any wind-back of environmental protections against the government's own conservation policies and strategies such as the Far North Coast Regional Conservation Plan, Far North Coast Regional Strategy and State Environmental Planning Policies (e.g. Coastal Wetlands, Littoral Rainforest, Koala Habitat Protection, and Coastal Protection.)

I call on you to ensure our region's unique environmental values are adequately protected by environmental protection zones in our Local Environment Plans.