11th February 2010
The Hon Frank Sartor
Minister for Environment
office@sartor.minister.nsw.gov.au
Dear Minister,
The following
excerpt
comes from a Clarence Valley Report which recommended a proposed
subdivision be approved by Council."
SUB2009/0015 PROPOSED 60 LOT SUBDIVISION
McINTYRES LANE, GULMARRAD - 9 February 2010"
Governance
Unapproved clearing on the site
Clause 40 (2) of the Maclean LEP states:
ď(2) On land within Zone No 1 (i), 1 (r), 1 (s) or 1 (t), all clearing of native vegetation requires consent,
other than clearing authorised under the
Rural Fires Act 1997
or the
State Emergency and Rescue
Management Act 989
, or clearing according to a bush fire management plan under the
Rural Fires Act
1997
."
Since the applicant purchased this land in September 2008 the site has been subject to numerous
complaints regarding unauthorised clearing. Council officers have attended this site on various
occasions and on 22 October 2008 issued verbal stop work orders. This was followed by a letter from
Council on 6 November 2008 telling the applicant that development consent was required for any
further clearing.
On 11 November 2008 Council officers again visited the site taking photos of vegetation being burnt
and machinery on the site.
On 21 July 2009 Council was informed by the Rural Fire Service that the applicant intended to carry out
hazard reduction works on the site including burning of vegetation. Council emailed the applicant on 24
July and informed him that burning is a form of clearing and as such requires approval from Council
unless a bushfire hazard reduction certificate is obtained.
On 14 September 2009 Council officers attended the site following a series of complaints and observed
machinery being used to fell trees and burning piles of vegetation. There was again machinery working
on the site on 1 October 2009 when the first arbitration conference was held.
When this application was lodged the vegetation on the site was in a significantly different state to that
which it is in at the time of writing this report. Council to date has not commenced any formal
prosecution.
Each of the 9 submissions raised concerns about the clearing which has already occurred on this site and
concurrently about Councilís lack of action regarding this issue to date. This issue has also been raised
in the local newspapers in regards to this site since lodgement of this application.
The DECCW have advised Council that they are unable to take action on this site as they believe the
site was subject to disturbance in 1994 (approximately) and that this will make a prosecution difficult
under the Native Vegetation Act.
CLARENCE ENVIRONMENT
CENTRE
31 Skinner Street
South Grafton 2460
Phone/ Fax: 02 6643 1863