Showing posts with label people power. Show all posts
Showing posts with label people power. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Tony Windsor on fighting the Santos pipeline


They were there in an attempt to survey a pipeline to convey coal seam gas from gas giant Santos’s proposed Narrabri gas field. As one landholder, David Chadwick, said: the pipeline was the “head of the snake” and if allowed to proceed would provide the infrastructure to convey the gas to Sydney or internationally and provide the political pressure to develop about 850 gas wells near Narrabri, with a view to hundreds more across the Liverpool Plains and associated areas.” [Tony Windsor, former  independent member for the federal seat of New England]

The Saturday Paper, 9-15 December 2017:

Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event.

Within minutes, farm vehicles from all the neighbours converged on the scene. Others moved in on the trespassers from the eastern side and in a pincer movement the trespassers became trapped and unable to gain access to their vehicles.

By this time, about 100 agitated and concerned farmers, their employees and families were there to express their disgust at what had just occurred. The police had also arrived.
It was ascertained that these trespassers were not your everyday illegal pig hunters or bushwalkers. But they were no less illegal and in breach of the law.

These trespassers were eventually allowed to leave after the police took their details. They proceeded to another small town called Warren, more than 100 kilometres away, where they were observed acting strangely.

The next day, they were followed on the ground by vehicle and in the air by aircraft and again they invaded private lands without appropriate authority and were hunted off. They returned to Coonamble to complain to police about being harassed, and then they left the district.

The trespassers were dressed in new clothes, trying to look like ecological scientists but without any identification. They had a security officer with them.

The question is why? Why would these people climb over a gate to gain access to the property when on that gate was a sign warning about biosecurity, with the farmer’s mobile phone number on the sign? Why wasn’t contact made? Why were they behaving like this?

It has often been said there will be wars over water. In its own way, the scene I was watching was a skirmish in what has the potential to become a war and rewrite the politics of water, land use and energy in this country. It was also an insight into how threatened the farm community felt and demonstrated how it would be difficult to fight these farmers’ guerilla tactics. It was a warning they were serious players.

It also occurred to me that most people in our major cities would not necessarily understand why a small community would mobilise itself so quickly at an apparent breach of their rights.

This article is an attempt to explain some of the detail and policy clashes that will evolve over the coming year, on the Liverpool Plains, on the plain country west of the Pilliga, and around the Adani coalmine in Queensland.

Read the full article here.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Is the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government moving against Clarence River communities?



According to the state-owned corporation Port Authority of New South Wales, during the 2017-18 cruise season which commenced in October, international cruise ships will be visiting Sydney, Newcastle, Port Kembla and Eden.

On its website the Authority proudly announced an expectation of a bumper season – as other parts of the world buckle under the weight of the cruise ship industry’s agenda and start to say ‘no more’.

When cautionary tales like this are appearing…..

Traveller.com.au, 20 November 2017:

Venice is planning to divert massive cruise liners. Barcelona has cracked down on apartment rentals.

Both are at the forefront of efforts to get a grip on "overtourism", a phenomenon that is disrupting communities, imperiling cherished buildings and harming the experience of travellers and local residents alike……

The backlash has even given rise to slogans such as "Tourists go home" and "Tourists are terrorists".

"This is a wake-up call," Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the United Nations' World Tourism Organisation, told tourism ministers and industry executives last week at the World Travel Market in London.

Meanwhile Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (USA) and Carnival Corporation (USA) – the biggest cruise lines operating in Australian waters – are moving some of their passenger ships off the NSW list of scheduled stops and berthing then in Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore and China.

The cruise ship industry goes where its rapacious business model can be utilised most effectively and Australia has been the flavour of the month for a few seasons now, even if Sydney is losing its sheen.

Before this latest Martin Place brain snap Port of Yamba was the only open port in New South Wales that had not been targeted by cruise lines as a destination port. Perhaps in part because they realise that a barrier estuary – where the barrier is the remains of a once living indigenous woman turned to stone - and multiple deck cruise ships are as compatible as oil and water.

Now the NSW Berejiklian Government and, particularly the NSW National Party, want to include this small regional estuarine port in grand plans for increasing cruise ship traffic in the state. Even though, according to Cruise Lines International Association Australasia, by 2016 New South Wales had captured around 58 per cent of the total Australian cruise market annual dollar spend - that's not enough for those greedy politicians down south.

The government tells us these passenger ships will only be “smaller cruise vessels” but it is also considering building an international cruise terminal in the Clarence River estuary.

Now if one goes online and looks at the cruise ships currently operating on the Australian east coast what is immediately obvious is the dearth of "smaller" ocean-going passenger vessels which might enter the Clarence River safely.

There aren’t enough of them to bring the economic benefit NSW Minister for Maritime, Roads and Freight and MP for Oxley Melinda Pavey implies would flow into the Lower Clarence River along with these ships.

Currently the NSW Dept. of Transport is sending a React Future Transport 2058 van all over the state selling the Draft Future Transport Strategy 2058 and asking people to tell those manning this van what they would like to see happen with regard to local transport needs.

The van came to Grafton in the hinterland of the Clarence Valley on 27 November 2017 wanting to hear opinions on trains, buses, roads, cycleways and air travel, but carefully avoided mention of sea transport, cruise ships or a cruise terminal unless a local specifically asked.

This van is never coming to the Clarence Coast - residents will never see it in Maclean, Iluka or Yamba. Their opinions are being deliberately limited in this faux consultation.

So what is going on here?

Perhaps the answer can be found in the idea being canvassed by the Berejiklian Government that all three NSW designated regional ports should ideally be multi-purpose ports which include cargo shipping, cruise ships and naval facilities.

The state government's push to establish the cruise ship industry in the Clarence River estuary looks suspiciously like the first move to bring this about, as inevitably demands will come from the international cruise lines for significant dredging to occur from the river entrance and along main the navigation channel to ship berths.

If such dredging occurs then it is possible the Australian Navy will be encouraged to revisit its strategy for use of smaller coastal ports and, a Sydney-centric NSW Government will begin to insist more freight passes through the port despite the known strong opposition of the wider Clarence Valley community to an industrialised Clarence River estuary.

Now might be the time for Ms. Pavey to consider the possibility that, Oxley being a regional electorate bordering the Clarence electorate, may induce many increasingly concerned people in the Lower Clarence to pack a hamper, get in their car and drive down to Oxley for the day and campaign for whomever of her political rivals takes their fancy during the next state election.

At the very least many are likely to write to local papers in her electorate during the 2019 state election campaign informing them of her actions in Clarence.

These letters could start off by mentioning those troublesome smokestacks at WestConnex, her support of the foreign multinational miner Adani’s plans for a mega coal mine which will inevitably pollute the Great Barrier Reef if it goes ahead,  her failure to support road workers who built a section of the new Pacific Highway for her on zero pay for months (pay they are never likely to see), removing historic Windsor Bridge, the reaction of others to her bizarre transport strategy - before moving on to the mess she is about to make of the Clarence River estuary.

After all the Clarence Valley has a habit of standing up for the aesthetic, environmental, cultural, social and economic values that underpin community in this valley and the wider Northern Rivers region.

Just ask Metgasco, Australian Infrastructure Development or Malcolm Turnbull.

NOTE

The name of the culturally significant reef just outside the mouth of the Clarence River is variously spelt Dirragun and Dirrangun in various books and documents, so both spellings are used interchangeably in North Coast Voices posts.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Is the NSW Berejiklian Government cruising for a bruising on the Clarence River?


It would appear that the Clarence Valley may be less than whole-heartedly enthusiastic about the NSW Berejiklian Coaltion Government's plans for the Port of Yamba.

Editor Bill North at The Daily Examiner, 25 October 2017, p.9:

Cruisin’ for a bruisin’

ONCE again dollar-sign gazes are cast in the direction of the pristine Clarence River estuary.

The Future Transport 2056 strategy announced by the NSW Government yesterday is considering Coffs and Yamba as potential ports for international cruise ships.

But I think the suggestion of a cruise ship terminal at Yamba could turn into a shipwreck before the idea ever sets sail.

It harks back to the ‘Eastgate Port’ proposal being pushed by developers which has ruffled feathers of residents, activist groups and politicians alike.

There are plenty of obstructions standing in the way of such a large scale development in the Clarence River.

Heavy dredging will be required to navigate the Yamba Bar, which happened to be the subject of a landmark native title claim for the Yaegl people in August.

Then where to build? The mind boggles when looking at aerial photographs of the Yamba estuary. To upgrade the current marina it’s difficult to imagine Hickey Island and Dart Island escaping impact.

Creating a gimmick stopover for lavish spenders would undoubtedly provide a significant economic boost for the region, but would also redefine Yamba as a tourist destination. And something tells me we like Yamba just the way it is, thank you very much.

Editor Bill North at The Daily Examiner, 26 October 2017, p.7:

WHILE massive industrial harbours dominate major river mouths throughout the developed world, forever and a day the Clarence River has managed to resist such a human-induced transformation and maintain its pristine beauty.

The river delta provided many a natural barrier for early explorers of the coastline, and no doubt helps explain the low population of the region compared to other, more accessible major river systems.

Just take a look down the coast at Newcastle to see coal loaders, ships and warehouses flood the landscape of its vast river delta system.

We’ve grown used to shunning large-scale port developments. We’ve come to expect environmental priorities will win the day. Some cling onto this inertia with hope, others find it a frustrating impediment to progress.

This week the NSW Government broached the idea of an international terminal at Yamba.

Many confidently declare that such a project will never get off the ground. Such statements are either naive or a prophetic summation of the strong will of the people of the Clarence because you can bet your bottom dollar developers from across the seas are admiring the untapped potential of such a destination – for industry, tourism or whatever makes a quick buck.


25 October 2017 David Whitby Getting a boat of that size in the Clarence would be a HUGE problem due to the lack of water depth at several places leading to the Goodwood wharf. Then there would be a traffic problem through to the Highway, not to mention the lack of facilities ....or NO facilities at the Goodwood wharf. Just another pipe dream.

29 October 2017 Bill Robb The blokes dreaming, there's not a chance as the reef at the entrance to the clarence is too high. If you dont mind dredging or blowing the reef down to size, then it could happen! Good luck with that environmental impact statement. Coffs would be the only engineering option available. The Jetty harbour would need some major work at the entrance and dredging of the harbour, not to mention fixing up the rest of the place. Plus I live in Coffs, so of course I am going to be biased.


31 October 2017 Michelle Argent I'm deeply sceptical about the whole thing particularly in light of Chris Gulaptis' media comment that Goodwood Island (Yamba Port) could not be used because it was used for live cattle exports. It is not but that is part of Euen's megaport insane proposal. Makes me think this is a softly softly approach to step 1 - get dredging done and navigate negotiations with our local aboriginal elders regarding the reef

2 November 2017 Karen von Ahlefeldt Fully agree


1 November 2017 Lloyd Palmer They would have to discharge ballast before the bar crossing, that will include anything tropical exotic and nasty

1 November 2017 Peter Lowry What Berejiklian as well ?

1 November 2017 Lloyd Palmer Whatever that is it sounds nasty

1 November 2017 Billy Walker And to mention the most significant site, the Dirrangan Reef which is sacred to the Yaegl Traditional Owners and the wider Aboriginal communities on the North Coast of NSW

2 November Billy Walker The Yaegl Traditional Owners have protection orders for the protection of the reef, known to the Yaegl people as Durrarngan reef, regardless of any proposals we must be notified under the Native Title Act, this also applies to any further dredging in and around the mouth of the river

3 November 2017 Matty Carlin Maybe I'm way out of the loop, but WHY would you think there would be such a push for a cruise ship terminal?
Seriously.
There's no transport options.
Nothing overly touristy to see or stay at.
Next to no infrastructure.
Yamba cannot be expanded on due to swamp, river & National Park.
So many things.
A terminal is a place of passenger exchange, or somewhere to get off to do touristy things.
I honestly can't envision it becoming a feasible and logical process.
If anything I think it would be great for the area to expand on the Slipway to encourage some vessels to use it for repairs, etc. Would bring in jobs and external income to the area which is what is lacking.

4 November 2017 Michelle Argent Another excellent commentary on this issue on northcoastvoices.blogspot.com in 3/11 blog. We are going to have to be very alert. Write to the Minister as recommended in this blog.

4 November 2017 Colin Beeby When you look at the mouth of the Clarence and then a shot of a cruise ship, you have to laugh. Then look at the mayor and Govt.members talking about a conjunction and fall over laughing.

4 November 2017 Peter Appleton Matthew I could be wrong but I believe ships of similar draught have worked the Clarence over the years without impacting on the reef or the need for extra dredging etc.

5 November 2017 Sebastian Rooks I am of the same opinion, however we need to be certain that this is not an opening salvo to get shipping in.
The way they have gone about this is alarming.

5 November 2017 Colin Ogilvie Could you supply dates and details of such visits ?

5 November 2017 Peter Appleton No Colin but someone mentioned it on another forum. The ships mentioned were The Island Trader (Yamba Trader), The Avondale, The Vili and The Kuri Pearl. I don't really know any more than that or if there were any issues with them.

5 November 2017 Matty Carlin The Island Trader is half that size.

5 November 2017 Kate Maclaren Nooo! That would be tragic!

5 November 2017 Michelle Argent What the bureaucrats don 't or won't understand is that people flock here precisely because the clarence coast is natural and not too touristy. Crass cruise ships of this type are the very thing that are not wanted. Write to your local member and the Minister for Infrastructure and be heard otherwise the punters and lobbyists will win out!

6 November 2017 Matthew Smith Liz Mercy-Bushell the whole community needs to stand up on this it could be the thin edge of the wedge

Clarence Valley IndependentLetter to the Editor, 7 November 2017:

Valley Watch is alarmed to read the joint media release from Ministers Melinda Pavey (Roads, Maritime and Freight) and Andrew Constance (Transport and Infrastructure) and Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser which states unequivocally “In October 2018, the Cruise Ship Caledonian Sky plans to stop off at Yamba as part of the Australian Coastal Odyssey”.

Talk about being treated like mushrooms! They claim it is part of the Future Transport 2056 strategy, but this “strategy” hasn’t yet been presented to the community of Yamba, and when the Future Transport team does come in late November, its mobile van will visit Grafton and Coffs Harbour. But will it come to Yamba, the area most affected? Apparently not.

There are just too many unanswered questions. Cruise ships like these use their auxiliary diesel  motors non-stop when they are moored to provide lighting, air conditioning and heating.

That means diesel fumes wafting over Yamba and Iluka all day and night. In May last year P&O was reportedly fined $15,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority for exceeding its diesel emissions limits.

They generate dangerous wastes and produce sewage, grey water and solid waste which are stored on board. Just one accidental discharge could do irreparable damage to our estuary, our fishing industry and our reputation. And accidents do happen.

There needs to be careful, painstaking consideration of all aspects of this proposal before our parliamentarians and councillors agree. Instead we seem to have a reckless, off-the-cuff endorsement of a potentially dangerous project.

Ros Woodward
President
November 2, 2017

The Daily Examiner, 9 November 2017, p9:

Cruisin’ for an eco bruisin’

BY NOW most Daily Examiner readers will have heard about the Berejiklian Government announcement that the Port of Yamba is being considered as a “small cruise ship” destination and possible site for a cruise terminal.

Such ships currently operating in Australian waters can be as big as 5000 tons with a carrying capacity of more than 800 passengers.

What some people may not realise, that even before any completed investigation or genuine community consultation, the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey has announced that the first small cruise ship will arrive in October next year.

Her office reportedly identified that ship as the Caledonian Sky, which is a 26-year-old, 90.6m long vessel with 4200 gross tonnage, a beam width of 15.2m, maximum draft of 4m and a carrying capacity of up to 114 passengers.

This is the same cruise ship which caused irreversible damage to a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site pristine reef system off Indonesian Papua in March this year, and the London-based cruise operator has reportedly been fined £350 million by the Indonesian Government.

Such accidents are relatively common among small cruise ships as official maritime incident reports between 2008-2017 mention repeated groundings, collisions with wharfs and breakwaters, in port onboard fires and accidental contaminated water/fuel discharges. Norovirus-infected passengers have also been reported on small cruise ships and excessive air emissions found on inspection by authorities.

This is not the only information Minister Pavey was not broadcasting to the Lower Clarence.

What the Berejiklian Government is also not telling Clarence Valley residents is that along with Eden and Coffs Harbour, the Port of Yamba is to be designated a “multipurpose port” which will ideally include “commercial shipping, cruise shipping and Defence facilities”.

Apparently this generic vision for NSW regional ports will likely translate in the environmentally sensitive Clarence River estuary into an estimated 20km of capital and development river dredging, a possible multi-storied cruise ship terminal with parking for 400 cars, 20 coaches, eight trucks and 20 taxis as well as a new commercial shipping wharf capable of berthing freighters up to 300m long carrying “liquids, timber, coal, iron ore...”.

Locals might remember that this is the same ship length as one class of super freighters mentioned in that private proposal to turn Yamba into an industrialised mega port.

When considering this State Government preferred style of coastal development, the words loss of environmental and cultural values, increased traffic generation, industrial level noise, congestion and waste management immediately spring to mind.

One wonders if Clarence Valley Council and the Yamba Chamber of Commerce will be as enthusiastic about those cruise ship plans once they realise that these ships are merely the thin end of the wedge that NSW Nationals and Sydney-centric Liberals hope to drive into a Lower Clarence community resolved to keep the estuary clean, green and seafood productive.

Judith M Melville, Yamba

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The American Resistance has many faces and this is just one of them (16)



* The US Fox Nertwork LLC entered a contract to sshow this political advertisement. It has withdrawn this advertisement from Fox News on or about 28 October 2017.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Australian High Court places doubt over constitutionality of anti-protestor laws in New South Wales


In 2014 the Parliament of Tasmania enacted the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 also known as the Protestors Act – an act designed to stifle even peaceful protest by individuals and groups concerned about government policy and actions by business or industry.

The Act allowed for fines of up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $100,000 for incorporated bodies, as well as additional fines and/or gaol terms of up to 4 years for further offences.

After the January 2016 arrests in the now destroyed Lapoinya Forest of individuals there for the purpose of raising public and political awareness about the logging of the forest and voicing protest to it, two of those arrested went to the High Court.

This is the result.

Excerpt from the High Court of Australia’s 18 October 2017 judgment in ROBERT JAMES BROWN & ANOR v THE STATE OF TASMANIA:

Question 2
Is the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas), either in its entirety or in its operation in respect of forestry land or business access areas in relation to forestry land, invalid because it impermissibly burdens the implied freedom of political communication contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution?

Answer
Section 6(1), (2), (3) and (4), s 8(1), s 11(1), (2), (6), (7) and (8), s 13 and Pt 4 of the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas) in their operation in respect of forestry land or business access areas in relation to forestry land are invalid because they impermissibly burden the implied freedom of political communication contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution. [my yellow highlighting]

The NSW Government is now considering implications of this judgment with regard to its own Part 4AD-Division 3 anti-protestor provisions in the NSW Crimes Act 1900 which carry a gaol term of 7 years.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 October 2017:

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman is seeking advice from the Solicitor-General about the effect on controversial NSW anti-protest laws of a High Court decision that found similar laws in Tasmania were unconstitutional.

The decision could have ramifications for three protesters facing up to 14 years in jail after becoming the first people charged under laws introduced by the NSW government last year.

Bev Smiles, Stephanie Luke and Bruce Hughes were charged in April with rendering useless a road belonging to a mine and hindering the working of equipment belonging to a mine following a protest at Wilpinjong Coal Mine in the Hunter Valley.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.


Photo: Western Advocate, 19 April 2017

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Quotes of the Week


”Homosexuality was decriminalised in NSW in 1984. The first state or territory to take homosexuality out of the criminal code was South Australia in 1975 and the last was Tasmania in 1997.” [Julie McCrossin writing on ABC News, 23 September 2017]

“There are around 3,000 reported snakebites each year in Australia, resulting in 500 hospital admissions and an average of two fatalities.” [The Flying Doctor Service, 5 October 2017]

“In the first few months of 2017, more than 440,000 Australians have donated to a GoFundMe, demonstrating the staggering increase of people engaging with social fundraising across the country.”  [The Northern Star, 3 October 2017]

Monday, 2 October 2017

Yamba Mega Port Proposal: "This clown just won't take no for an answer"


"This clown just won't take no for an answer" would be a fairly accurate assessment of most Lower Clarence River residents’ opinion of Desmond Euen’s (pictured left) latest attempt to promote his proposal to industrialise the Clarence River estuary by re-creating the Port of Yamba as a mega port.

Having been told repeatedly by local communities that his proposal was unwelcome and, by local government and the NSW Baird Government that the proposal would not be supported/endorsed, he still persists.

In August this year Mr. Euen participated in the following inquiry via the submission process.


On 24 November 2016, the Australian Government announced it will develop a national freight and supply chain strategy (the strategy) to increase the productivity and efficiency of Australia's freight supply chain. The strategy is in response to Infrastructure Australia's Australian Infrastructure Plan.

On 9 March 2017, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP, released Terms of Reference PDF: 219 KB  for an inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities (the inquiry).

The Inquiry will inform the development of the strategy and determine how to best lift the productivity and efficiency of Australia's freight supply chain. The inquiry is being led by the Department assisted by Infrastructure Australia and a four member Expert Panel appointed by Minister Chester. On 26 May 2017, the Department released the Discussion Paper for the inquiry, marking the commencement of the public consultation period. Submissions closed on 28 July 2017 and the Department is now analysing the responses, together with comments received from meetings with key stakeholders.

A draft report will be made available for industry and government for comment by December, and the final report provided to the Government by March 2018.

A series of frequently asked questions about the inquiry and the strategy have been prepared to assist you.

The Discussion Paper, working papers prepared for the Inquiry and the submissions (except for those marked ‘in-confidence’) can be accessed below.

Discussion paper PDF: 558 KB 

As Inter-Port Global Pty Ltd he submitted two documents (Submission 27 in above link) – one of which was for Gladstone Strategic Development Area in Queensland and the other for the Port of Yamba on the NSW North Coast.
                               
The 42-page Yamba document was originally created by Euen on 27 July 2017 according to its “Properties” page. It asserts to be a submission originally made to Infrastructure Australia at an earlier date.

Desmond Euen of Unit 1103, 2865 Gold Coast Highway, SURFERS PARADISE QLD 4217 registered Inter-Port Global Pty Ltd on 24 August 2016. To date he is the sole director and shareholder as well as the company secretary.

There were a number of confidential submissions to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities and it is possible that one of these may be from the group of corporate lawyers, investment companies and property developers behind United Land Councils Ltd and United First Peoples Syndications Pty Ltd who made a joint submission to the NSW Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No. 6 Inquiry Into Crown Land in August 2016 which included the Yamba mega port proposal .

The Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities is due to hand its report to the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council sometime before end March 2018.

Iluka Real Estate decided to tout a proposed development and instead stirred up the local community


Perhaps thinking to further his own commercial interests and apply a little pressure to the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (NJRPP) currently considering a proposed 140 lot development on environmentally sensitive land, Iluka Real Estate owner Graeme Lynn took to the airwaves on 26 September 2017 spruiking this development which he has been advertising online since  2015.

Unfortunately for Mr. Lynn all he did was demonstrate that the Iluka community is not happy with the scale and design of this development application, as well as concerned with loss of biodiversity and habitat – particularly destruction of a Coastal Cypress Pine Endangered Ecological Community (EEC), loss of local koala habitat and fragmentation of a known wildlife corridor.

Up to the point that Mr. Lynn rose to his feet at the NJRPP Public Briefing Meeting on 20 September, the community debate on this planning issue had remained civil and constructive. Most Iluka residents are obviously trying to ensure it stays that way.

Here is how the online response to Mr. Lynn's on-air statements played out:


DEVELOPMENT PLAN DIVIDES ILUKA

Opponents of a major residential subdivision planned for Iluka say it puts the village's unique charm at risk.

The Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council has been working with the Stevens Group on a 140-lot development on Hickey Street.

The state's Joint Regional Planning Panel hosted a public briefing on the issue last week.

Tony Belton, from the Association of Iluka Residents, said it was a huge project which threatened the character of the village.

"Iluka has so far avoided the over-commercialised coastal development that now characterises many seaside destinations," he said.

"And I think that sort of sums it up, people come here for that unique coastal experience that sadly has largely been lost due to over development.

"One speaker at the meeting the other day said this kind of development would be more suitable for a place like Mount Druitt. 

"And indeed that's the issue, it's a huge development with little consideration for the world-heritage status next door or for the feel of Iluka as it is now."

But not everyone is opposed.

The President of the Iluka Ratepayers Association, Graeme Lynn, said residents could see benefits in the proposal.

The shops here need more customers," he said.

"The golf club is right next door and it definitely needs more customers and it'll give better access to the golf club ... coming all the way through. 

"And the shops in town need those extra customers."

A spokesperson for Birrigan Gargle Land Council declined to speak with the ABC until after the development application had been finalised.


14 comments
Comments
Roslyn Woodward Grahame Lynne is not only from Iluka real estate, he is also the president of the Iluka golf club, president of the association of Iluka residents and president of the Iluka Rotary. He spoke at the judicial panel meeting but did not declare he had an obvious financial interest. This map clearly shows the proximity to the World Heritage Area on the other side of Iluka Rd and the important east-west wildlife corridor link to the Clarence River. There are many threatened species on the site and lots of Koala sightings. The land council may need funds we are not to question that - but this land could certainly qualify for a biodiversity off-set which would be a win for the land council, Iluka's amenity and wildlife.
6 · 19 hrs
Jill Garsden Oh, no, please, no......Iluka is the only north coast coastal town we can retreat to without feeling that it's become too overdeveloped and touristy. Its charm and attraction lies in the fact that it has withstood further development. If it becomes like every other coastal town then it will lose not only our regular visits, but also those of many others.
2 · 17 hrs
Annie Leggett Well of course Graeme Lynn thinks it's a great idea.... he is the real estate agent working with the developer to sell the land/development.... good for him sure.... lots of money in it for him.... Good for the people of Iluka ?? Now that is a better question? If you listen to others, who aren't just focused on the money .... there are many things that are not okay about the development in its current proposal.
Tania Laurie What's wrong with all you Anti-development activists. The fact of the matter is that the population is growing and more housing is required. Don't you realize that there were native flora and fauna once where houses are now. As stated, heritage listed land is near so these species will move to safer habitat, not be wiped out. And it would be a disgrace to think all this opposition is because the Aboriginal land Council is involved. Eventually communities have to grow to help accommodate existing residents family as they get older and will help keep communities family orientated. Besides all that, it's a great economic injection for the town. Wake up and stop whinging.
1 · 17 hrs
Louise Devonforlunch No mention is made of the fact there have been four gravesites discovered. Two are located on the DA site and two opposite on the crown land. Ground Penetrating Radar undertaken during the Heritage study confirmed one of the gravesites had an 9/10 chance of containing human remains but despite this the site was excavated recently to the extent that one of the most intact gravesites has been destroyed beyond recognition!
Dave Schwarz You'd have to wonder what the Land Council is up to, seems the mighty $ is more important than the precious land? I'm no Greenie, but the argument the shops need more customers is surely crazy, surely the residents need fewer shops? 
Carol Watkins ILUKA CEMETERY 
Elizabeth Street 
Iluka NSW 2466
The Iluka Cemetery has been subdivided into a lot of about .3 ha and is believed to contain three bodies. The graves are thought to be located on the crest of a small sand dune about 20 metres off the northern side of Elizabeth Street. The site of the graves is covered with scrub vegetation. Only one grave is marked with a wooden cross and it bears the name of Earnest Eaton. Graves are not visible from the road. A memorial wall is located on the same side of the road about 100 metres away.
https://www.clarence.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/metro/page.asp...
Peter Appleton One thing that surprised me with the original DA, listed by council on Christmas Eve 2015, is that they appeared to be unaware that this is an historic sand mining site. Seems strange to me as there are records and maps everywhere saying its been sand mined. As I understand it a Section 149 Certificate is a legal document issued by NSW councils under the EPA Act which gives detailed information about sites. The Clarence Valley Council (CVC) Section 149(2) Certificate issued for this site (as per the released DA material) does not mention the sand mining history of the site. Page 10 of the certificate says, "Council records do not have sufficient information about previous use of this land to determine if the land is contaminated." The engineering consultants engaged by the developer (Cardno Pty Ltd) then seem to run with this in their 8 August 2015 report which says on page 5, "There is no available evidence of land clearing, mining infrastructure, mining pits or dredging ponds in the aerial photography, which suggests that no mining, or on site separation processes were conducted on site." Seriously??? Cardno would then appear NOT to have undertaken any soil samples with regards to Zircon, Rutile or any of the other associated sand mining minerals.
Louise Devonforlunch Yes the original Cemetery was near Sid & Eileen Gill Park however the DA site was set aside as an additional cemetery between 1910 and 1928 when it was returned to Crown Land. The gravesites that were found at the South Western end of the DA site about 100m from each other. There are four in total but now since one has been destroyed only three remain. This is a part of Iluka’s history and whether they are Aboriginal or European they warrant further investigation and respectfully treated not subjected to the heavy handed approach used recently by the Police as I understand it.
Peter Appleton As you know Louise the one that has been destroyed was mentioned at a JRPP briefing meeting at Clarence Valley Council offices on 16 August 2017. In attendance were panel members Garry West (Chair), Stephen Gow, Jim Simmons, Jason Kingsley. Apologies from Pam Westing. Also in attendance were council assessment staff Carmen Landers (Development Planner) and Nigel Sutton (Development Engineer). "Key Issues Discussed" included "Aboriginal Burial Site". 
No cultural heritage or aboriginal heritage reports were presented with either the original or amended DA, despite council being advised via submissions of the likely presence on site of at least one aboriginal gravesite. This latest round of submissions commenced before the completion of both the Extent Heritage "Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment" and "Baseline Historical Archaeological Assessment" reports. These reports were released to submitters only after they complained about their absence and were then only forwarded by council to two submitters that I am aware of. 
My email to council following this incident includes, "Were the local police involved in this operation advised by council that this site is currently subject to a development application and has been referred to the commonwealth with a decision still pending as to whether it becomes a controlled action? Were police advised by council that this is likely to be an aboriginal grave that they were bulldozing or is this something that council still wishes to dispute? Were police advised that this part of the DA site was an area described by the ecological consultant for the applicant as being the best example on site of the endangered ecological community Callitris columellaris? Were police advised that this is an historic sand mining site with the potential for radioactive concentrations of mineral sands to be found beneath the surface?" 
The excavator operator (a local) was left unsupervised to backfill after the excavation, was wearing no safety equipment, face mask etc and advised that he had excavated to a depth of 2 metres.