Showing posts with label biodiversity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biodiversity. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

NCEC Fire Forum - 'Let's Talk About Fire', Saturday 28 March 2020, Whiporie General Store, Whiporie, NSW 2469 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm AEDT




NCEC Fire Forum - 'Let's Talk About Fire'
Are you concerned about what the Australian Fires, the government inquiries and the Royal Commission will mean for our forests and native wildlife?
As well as the devastating impacts to life and property, the recent, unprecedented wildfires have resulted in extensive losses of our precious biodiversity from the mountains to the sea. Given the increasing impacts of global heating, such extreme climatic events are likely to become more frequent in the future. This North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) event is specifically targeting conservation groups and individuals who care about nature to come together to discuss the way forward to assist the restoration of habitats, recovery of our flora and fauna and planning to better protect our biodiversity from future catastrophic events. The NCEC have enlisted a number of expert presenters who will provide information on key aspects of bushfire planning for biodiversity outcomes. Learn about the extent of our biodiversity losses and discuss ways to mitigate the impact that similar future events will have on our precious flora, fauna and cultural values.
When: Saturday March 28, 2020
Time: 10am - 4pm
Where: Whiporie Hall, 5351 Summerland Way, Whiporie, NSW 2469
Between Grafton and Casino on the Summerland Way
Fee: $15 include morning/afternoon tea and lunch, concession $10
Speakers
  • Dailan Pugh OAM - What we’ve lost, flora, fauna and EEC’s
  • Dr. Rob Kooyman - Fire in Gondwana Rainforest
  • Ian Dixon - Community response from the Mt. Nardi fire
  • Oliver Costello - Firesticks Alliance - Cultural Burning
  • Maria Mathis - Koalas, planning for fire
  • Dr. Wayne Somerville - The 2019/20 Bushfire Trauma:
  • Recovery and resilience for people and forests
  • Dr. Graeme Douglas - Threats to conservation as a result of wildfires reviews /enquiries
Q&A Session
Booking is essential by 26th March 2020
Please email through any special dietary requirements to Jim Morrison: pactec@harboursat.com.au
Contact: Jim Morrison
Ph: (02) 6664 5233

Organiser of NCEC Fire Forum - 'Let's Talk About Fire' is North Coast Environment Council IncFormed in 1976, it is the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW, covering the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Environmental Defenders Office analysis of the new planning policy for koalas in NSW finds legal safeguards flawed


Koalas are found in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and are particularly vulnerable following the devastating 2019-20 bushfire season.

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), 20 February 2020:


NSW planning policy for koalas falls short of the legal safeguards needed to protect the iconic animals and their habitats. 

By Cerin Loane, Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor, and Rachel Walmsley, Policy and Law Reform Director, Sydney 

A new NSW SEPP – State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 – is due to commence on 1 March 2020. With koala numbers having been in decline in NSW over the past two decades, a revised Koala SEPP had been highly anticipated as an opportunity to bolster legal protections for koalas. Frustratingly, the finalised Koala SEPP does little more than tinker around the edges. The fact remains that NSW laws fall far short of providing tangible protection for koalas. And with koala populations and their habitats significantly impacted by the summer’s devastating bushfires, it’s going to take more than just a few revisions to provide our koalas and their habitats the real legal protection they need.

The status of koalas in NSW 

Koalas are currently listed as a vulnerable threatened species in NSW, meaning there is a high risk of extinction in the medium-term.[1] Additionally, individual populations at Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens on the lower north coast, between the Tweed and Brunswick Rivers east of the Pacific Highway in the Northern Rivers area and within the Pittwater Local Government Area in northern Sydney are listed as endangered populations.[2

Accurately estimating koala numbers is difficult. Despite regulations, policies and community initiatives, overall koala numbers in NSW are in decline. In 2016, the NSW Chief Scientist relied on the figures of Adams-Hoskings et.al. in estimating approximately 36,000 koalas in NSW, representing a 26% decline over the past three koala generations (15-21 years).[3] We note however that other reports suggest koala numbers are even lower than this.[4

These estimates were made before the catastrophic bushfire events of this summer, which have been devastating for koalas, with estimates showing that more than 24% of all koala habitats in eastern NSW are within fire-affected areas.[5] Many people are asking how our environmental laws can help conserve and restore vulnerable wildlife at this time – this is something that EDO continues to look at as we start to move forward from the events of this summer (see our response to Australia’s climate emergency). 

A new state environmental planning policy is one legal tool intended to help koalas, but on our analysis the SEPP will remain largely ineffective in addressing the exacerbated threats currently facing them. It took just weeks for almost a quarter of koala habitat in NSW to be burnt in the bushfires, while it has taken the NSW Government 10 years to simply update the list of relevant koala habitat trees in the SEPP. The need for enforceable and effective laws is now more urgent than ever. 

Key changes to the NSW Koala SEPP[6

On 1 March 2020, NSW State Environmental Planning Policy No 44 – Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP 44)[7], which has been in place since 1995, will be repealed and replaced by a new State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 (new Koala SEPP).[8] SEPP 44 will continue to apply to development applications made, but not finally determined, before 1 March 2020.[9

SEPP 44 aims to protect koalas and their habitat, but its settings are weak and not targeted at the type or scale of projects with highest impact. Additionally, the problematic definitions of core koala habitat and potential koala habitat are adopted by other legislation (including the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act) and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act)), where they are used as a benchmark for triggering processes and regulation relating to land clearing and development assessment.[10

EDO has been calling for changes to SEPP 44 for the best part of a decade. In December 2010, EDO wrote to the Government on behalf of Friends of the Koala noting that SEPP 44 ‘is in urgent need of reform’.[11] In 2016, the Government announced a review of SEPP 44.[12] EDO made a submission on the Review of the Koala SEPP outlining our key concerns with its operation and making recommendations for improvement.[13] It wasn’t until fires began burning across the state late last year that the Government announced the release of the new Koala SEPP, just days before Christmas.

Despite recommendations that the Government consult on the text of a draft SEPP and any relevant guidelines or supporting material following its 2016 review, the final SEPP was made without any additional consultation; but it does address a number of stakeholder concerns. Most significantly, it updates the definition of ‘core koala habitat’ and removes the problematic concept of ‘potential koala habitat’, instead relying on mapping (a new Koala Development Application Map and new Site Investigation areas for Koala Plans of Management Map) to initially identify koala habitat. However, certain legal mechanisms still apply only to core koala habitat.[14

The new SEPP also updates the list of feed tree species in Schedule 2, used to help identify koala habitat, from 10 species to 123 species, categorised into 9 distinct regions. Other key changes include: 
  • Removing the requirement for site specific plans of management (in instances where a comprehensive Koala Plan of Management is not in place), instead requiring decision-makers to take into account new standard requirements in a Koala Habitat Protection Guideline. Concerningly, the Guidelines have not yet been seen, there are no formal requirements for developing the Guidelines (e.g. no requirements for community consultation or peer review) and the standards within the Guidelines are not mandatory – the new Koala SEPP requires only that they be taken into account. 
  • Moving provisions relating to how local environment plans and other planning instruments should give effect to protection to koalas from the SEPP to a new Ministerial planning direction (which is yet to be made).
Ongoing concerns 

There are also a number of key concerns that have not been addressed by the new Koala SEPP. For example: 
  • No areas of koala habitat are off-limits to clearing or offsetting – NSW laws do not prohibit the clearing of koala habitat. Despite declining koala numbers and the devastation caused by this summer’s fires, NSW laws still allow koala habitat to be cleared with approval. The new Koala SEPP simply requires decision-makers to ensure development approvals are consistent with koala plans of management (PoMs) or, if a PoM is not in place, that the (yet-to be-made) Guidelines are taken into account. If our laws are to truly protect koalas and their habitats then the approval process must not allow important koala habitat to be offset or cleared in exchange for money, in the way that the NSW Biodiversity Assessment Method does. Rather, all development that has serious or irreversible impacts on koala habitat must be refused. 
  • The requirement for councils to prepare Comprehensive Koala PoMs remains voluntary – Due to the slow uptake by councils (only 5 comprehensive PoMs have been finalised since SEPP 44 commenced in 1995),[15] EDO has previously recommended that the preparation of comprehensive koala PoMs (CKPoMs) be mandatory (i.e. the SEPP require that draft CKPoMs be prepared and exhibited within a particular timeframe). 
  • The new Koala SEPP still only applies to limited types of development – As was the case with SEPP 44, the new Koala SEPP still only applies to council-approved development. This means that the new Koala SEPP does not apply to the wide range of development and activities that can impact on koala habitat, including complying development, major projects (State significant development and State significant infrastructure), Part 5 activities (e.g. activities undertaken by public authorities) and land clearing activities requiring approval under the LLS Act. 
  • The 1 hectare requirement has not been removed – The arbitrary threshold of 1ha for triggering SEPP 44 has been carried over to the new Koala SEPP. Excluding sites below 1ha from the Koala SEPP leaves small koala habitat areas, particularly koala habitat in urban areas, without adequate protection. The 1 hectare requirement also contributes to cumulative impacts and can reduce connectivity across the landscape by allowing small patches to be cleared. 
  • Climate change considerations have been overlooked – The review of SEPP 44 provided an opportunity to incorporate requirements to identify and protect habitat and corridors that will support koalas’ resilience to more extreme heat and natural disasters, even if there is no koala population in those areas now, however there is nothing in the new Koala SEPP that specifically addresses climate change. 
  • Monitoring and compliance requirements have not improved – There are no new requirements relating to monitoring, review, reporting and compliance in the new Koala SEPP. 
The future for NSW koalas 

The new Koala SEPP highlights the overarching deficiencies in NSW laws to provide genuine protections for wildlife and nature. The way our laws are designed, very little is off limits to development or activities such as urban development, mining, and agriculture. While environmental laws provide processes for assessing environmental impacts, at the end of the day weak offsetting laws and discretionary decision-making powers allow destructive activities to go ahead to the detriment of our wildlife and natural resources. Contradictory policy settings in NSW laws mean that laws aimed at conserving biodiversity and maintaining the diversity and quality of ecosystems (such as the BC Act) are undermined by other legislation that facilitates forestry, agricultural activities and developments (such as the LLS Act, Forestry Act 2012 (Forestry Act) and Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act)). 

Many of the recent initiatives by the NSW Government to address koala conservation have focused mainly on funding and policy, without substantial legislative or regulatory reform to increase legal protections for koala populations and habitat. The new Koala SEPP is no exception. While some improvements have been made, particularly in relation to the definition of core koala habitat, overall many concerns remain and the Koala SEPP is unlikely to result in improved outcomes for koalas. 

Until our laws are strengthened to truly limit or prohibit the destruction of koala habitat, koala populations and their habitat will continue to be at risk and koala numbers will continue to decline in NSW, possibly to the point of local extinction. 

Footnotes 

[1] Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, s 4.4(3) 

[2] See www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=20300; www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=10615 and www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=10614 

[3] NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Report of the Independent Review into the Decline of Koala Populations in Key Areas of NSW, December 2016 above no 6, citing Adams-Hosking, C, McBride, M.F, Baxter, G, Burgman, M, de Villiers, D, Kavanagh, R, Lawler, I, Lunney, D, Melzer, A, Menkhorst, P, Molsher, R, et al. (2016). Use of expert knowledge to elicit population trends for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Diversity and Distributions, 22(3), 249-262. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12400 

[4] See, for example, Paull, D., Pugh, D., Sweeney, O., Taylor, M.,Woosnam, O. and Hawes, W. Koala habitat conservation plan. An action plan for legislative change and the identification of priority koala habitat necessary to protect and enhance koala habitat and populations in New South Wales and Queensland (2019), published by WWF-Australia, Sydney, which estimates koala numbers to be in the range of 15,000 to 25,000 animals. In 2018, the Australian Koala Foundations estimates koala numbers in NSW to be between 11,555 and 16,130 animals, see www.savethekoala.com/our-work/bobs-map-%E2%80%93-koala-populations-then-and-now 

[5] See Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Understanding the impact of the 2019-20 fires, https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/fire/park-recovery-and-rehabilitation/recovering-from-2019-20-fires/understanding-the-impact-of-the-2019-20-fires 

[6] See https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Environment-and-Heritage/Koala-Habitat-Protection-SEPP 

[7] See https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/EPI/1995/5 (Note – This link is unlikely to work after 1 March 2020, however the former SEPP will be able to be found on the NSW legislation website under repealed EPIs (environmental planning instruments)) 

[8] See https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/EPI/2019/658 

[9] State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019, section 15 

[10] As noted earlier in our submission, for example, for the purpose of the land management regime under Part 5A of the Local Land Services Act 2013, category 2-sensitive regulated land (on which clearing is more strictly regulated) is to include ‘core koala habitat’.

[11] EDO NSW Submission on State Environmental Planning Policy No 44 – Koala Habitat, December 2010, available at https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/edonsw/pages/3547/attachments/original/1485908888/Attachment_A_-_2010_EDONSW_SEPP_44_Submission_for_FOK.pdf?1485908888 

[12] See https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/State-Environmental-Planning-Policies-Review/Draft-koala-habitat-protection-SEPP 

[13] See https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/edonsw/pages/3547/attachments/original/1485908884/170131_Koala_SEPP_44_Review_Submission_-_FINAL_to_DPE.pdf?1485908884 

[14] For example, under clause 9 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019, which applies to development on land for which no PoM is in place, the Guidelines will not apply if a suitably qualified and experienced person provides information that the land is not core koala habitat. 

[15] There are only approved plans for five council areas, and a further nine Councils who have drafted or undertaken koala habitat studies See https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/native-animals/native-animal-facts/koala/koala-conservation

IF NORTH COAST VOICES READERS WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A MODEST DONATION TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDERS OFFICE THEY CAN DO SO AT: 

https://www.edo.org.au/help-us-become-a-formidable-force-for-justice/

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Australian Forestry Industry: these future eaters need to be stopped



Australia is the world's smallest continent with a land area of 149,450,000 km2 completely surrounded by ocean.

It is not by accident that the vast majority of its est. 25.6 million strong population live along its fringes - that's where most of the forests and rivers are.



What you see on this map represented approximately 3 per cent of the world’s forests in 2016 and, globally Australia was the country with the seventh largest forest area.

It is estimated that when British-Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, forests covered one-third of the continent - a total of around 49,811,685km2

This had fallen to less than one-fifth or 19 per cent by 2006. At that time more than 16,500 plant and 3,800 animal species had been identified as forest-dependent.

Ten years later Australia​ had only 134 million hectares of forest remaining, covering 17 per cent of its land area. 

In the 228 years between 1788 and 2016 under the policies, legislation and regulations of successive federal, state and territory governments a total of 24,405,185km2 of predominately tall trees had disappeared under the forester's and farmer's axe, never to return.

The eating of Australia's future continues to this day as projections suggest that by 2030, another 3 million hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

That's on top of the tree cover lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season when over 5 million hectares of forest and grassland burned - with 100 per cent of tree canopy lost in some areas of the vast firegrounds.

Combined forest burnt in New South Wales and Victoria this fire season has been estimated in one study as 21 per cent of Australia's entire remaining forest cover.

Yet despite what has been lost and the uncertainty surrounding what might regrow due to the continuing stressful heating and drying of the Australian continent caused by climate change, the forestry industry is pushing hard to expand its activities further into state forests, nature reserves and national parks.

The relentless, selfish greed of this industry needs to be called out for what it is - a collective madness.

If you would like to see the federal government and east coast state governments reign in this madness, please express your views to your local state & federal members of parliament and to the following:

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, 
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY, NSW 2001 
willoughby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment, 
52 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000 
hornsby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, 
PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD 4002 
thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, 
GPO Box 5078 BRISBANE, QLD 4001 
environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au 

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, 
Office of the Premier, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, 
Level 16 8 Nicholson Street, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Premier of Tasmania, 
Ground Floor, Public Building, 53 St John Street, LAUNCESTON, Tasmania 7250 peter.gutwein@dpac.tas.gov.au 

Roger Janesh MP, Minister for Environment and Parks, 
GPO Box 44 HOBART, Tasmania 7001 
roger.jaensch@parliament.tas.gov.au

Monday, 21 October 2019

The Queensland white shoe brigade's fascination with destroying pristine land in the NSW Northern Rivers region continues


Echo Net Daily image of the site found at NSW EDO

In 1981 Richmond Valley Council gave consent to DA111/1988 for a four stage subdivision by Iron Gates Developments Pty Limited on environmentally sensitive land bordering the Evans River and Bundjalung National Park near Evans Head in the NSW Northern River region.

In 1991 the consent for those 610 lots was challenged in the NSW Land & Environment Court by Richmond-Evans Environmental Society Inc.

Development did not proceed that year.

In 1993 Al Oslack began litigation in the NSW Land & Environment Court seeking to overturn a Richmond Valley Council consent for Iron Gates Developments Pty Limited's 110 lot development application on the same parcel of land.

This challenge went all the way to the High Court of Australia before the consent would be successfully overturned in 1998 and site remediation ordered.

Remediation remains unrealised to date.

Allegedly unlawful land clearing occured on the site at some point before June 2014.

In 2014, Graeme Angus Ingles, former company director of the now defunct Iron Gates Pty Ltd (deregistered November 2008), lodged a fresh application to develop the site under the name of a company registered in Queensland, Goldcoral Pty Ltd trading under the business name Iron Gates Estate Evans Head.

Shares in Goldcoral are fully owned by Portcount Pty Ltd, previous to this shares were owned by Portcorp Land Pty Ltd

In 2014 Planning NSW would not consent to the development proceeding without a master plan and the application documents had to be amended.

The development application was registered with Northern Regional Planning Panel on 29 October 2014 as an 186 lot development.

This time it was Dr. David Ashley who applied to the Land & Environment Court in 2015 or 2016 seeking records of council meetings with the developer in the public interest.

Now in 2019 DA2015/0096-amended dated 23 July 2019 is before Richmond Valley Council. 
https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Appendix-2-Revised-ESCIR-23-July-2019-Appendix-A-B.pdf


This amended development application made on behalf of Goldcoral Pty Ltd by Graeme Ingles of the Ingles Group is for a 184 lot subdivision which includes 175 residential lots, 3 residue lots, 4 public reserves, 1 drainage reserve, and 1 sewer pump station lot.

The developmen is estimated to cost over $12 millionn and impacts on Lot 163 DP 831052, Lots 276 and 277 DP 755624, Crown Road Reserve between Lots 163 DP 831052 and Lot 276 DP 755724, Crown Foreshore Reserve and Iron Gates Drive, Evans Head NSW; 240 Iron Gates Drive, Evans Head.

The Queensland 'white shoe brigade' is nothing if not persistent.

BACKGROUND

The Northern Star, 2 October 2019:

A revised proposal for the subdivision of land at the controversial Iron Gates Drive in Evans Head has been lodged.
The proposal from three lots to 175 residential lots, three residue lots, four public reserves, a drainage reserve and a sewer pump station will be publicly exhibited from todayfor community feedback.
The development application was lodged by Goldcoral Pty Ltd and includes clearing work, road works, drainage, and landscaping.
The application will be on exhibition until Monday, November 18. Consent authority for the application is the Northern Regional Planning Panel.
Assessment
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald said council would wait for the assessment of a master plan by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment before they finalised the development assessment process.
He said all enquiries regarding the master plan process should be directed to the department’s regional office in Grafton.
Mr Macdonald said the proposal also required approvals from relevant State Government agencies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Rural Fire Service.
“As with all development applications received by council, the Iron Gates proposal will undergo a full professional and technical assessment to ensure it meets relevant NSW Government legislation and planning controls,” he said.
“Following council’s assessment, a report will be compiled and forwarded to the Northern Regional Planning Panel for final determination.”
Mr Macdonald said the planning panel met on an as-needs-basis, and was unable to confirm a final determination date.
Public submissions
He said those interested in the proposal could inspect the application and support documents at council’s customer service centres in Casino and Evans Head, and on council’s website.
He said anyone could formally submit comments to support or oppose the development application during the exhibition period.
However, he said council would not consider anonymous submissions.
“For feedback on a development application to be valid, a submission must be properly made in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act,” Mr Macdonald said.
Mr Macdonald said those providing feedback should be clear on why they were supporting or opposing the development.
State your reasons
He said council needed to understand the reasons behind your submission.
For example, if you think the type of development proposed for your area is unsuitable, you need to say why it is unsuitable – not simply that you don't like it.
It is important to focus on:
Whether the proposed use is consistent with the intent for the area
Whether the scale and design of the proposed development is compatible with surrounding development
How the development addresses the street and interfaces with adjoining properties
Any potential traffic and car parking issues associated with the development
How the development may impact on drainage patterns in the area
How the development fits with the natural environment.
Echo NetDaily, 2 February 2016:

The department of planning and environment (DoPE) has given permission for a proposed development at Evans Heads’ controversial Iron Gates site to go on public exhibition, despite a previous development on the same site being overturned by the Land and Environment Court at the eleventh hour.
The draft master plan for the subdivision would allow for 176 residential lots and four public reserves with fire trails.
DoPE says the land to be developed for residential purposes is ‘already zoned as general residential land by the Richmond Valley LEP’ and that ‘no additional residential land is proposed on the site’.
A DoPE spokesperson said the department recognised ‘the environmental and cultural value of the Evans Head site, including its location on the Evans River, its native vegetation, wetlands and rainforest, as well as the places of Aboriginal cultural significance present on the land.’
The spokesperson added that, ‘if approved, the proponent’s draft master plan would provide a guide against which future development applications can be assessed by the local council or other consent authority.’

Illegally installed infrastructure

But that’s not the view of Al Oshlack, the man who defeated an earlier proposal for the site in the Land and Environment Court 20 years ago.
As a result of that defeat, the court ordered the removal of infrastructure that it viewed had been illegally installed on the land but that was never done.
Mr Oshlack believes that may constitute contempt of court and is preparing to again fight development of the fragile coastal ecosystem.
‘In 1996 the court made orders for land remediation and then they had a special hearing with the chief justice in which they made an extensive remediation order,’ he told Echonetdaily.
‘It never happened. The developer put the company into liquidation and he held out for about 18 years – and the statute of limitations to carry out the court orders lapsed.
‘Part of the development proposal is to test the viability of the various infrastructures: the plan is to utilise as much as they can of the illegally installed infrastructure, plus the illegal access road.
Mr Oschlack said that far from being a ‘guide against which future development applications could be assessed’, the history of the site suggested it was anything but.
‘I think the whole thing should be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. I mean, it’s just a total outrage and contemptuous of the whole legal process and environmental law.
‘And with the alleged illegal clearing that took place in 2014, there has been an investigation going on for two years by the EPA and they have yet to give an answer as to whether they managed to prosecute or not – even though I provided evidence from expert witnesses of the damage that occurred without any development consent,’ Mr Oshlack said.
The department says it is encouraging community feedback on the plan.
Sekuir Migration, 18 April 2018:
Ingles Group, which is known for its wide-scale property developments and well established accountancy firm, Ingles Accounting, is now offering inbound migration services on the Gold Coast.
Graeme Ingles, who heads up Ingles Group, says that migration services are crucial to the ongoing growth of the Gold Coast and that he launched Sekuir Migration in response to growing demand from his customer base.
Many business owners on the Gold Coast are in need of skilled workers, particularly food trades workers who can meet the needs of the thriving tourism and night economy of the region.

ABC North Coast Radio, 25 January 2015:
The Richmond Valley Council has received 62 submissions objecting to the Iron Gates development - the latest comes from the Royal Australian Air Force.
In a two-page letter, the Assistant Director of Estate Planning for the Defence Department, Marc McGowan said: 'Air weapons training at Evans Head is expected to increase in scale and density over time, towards the maximum rate of use of 70 days per year. Aircraft will be conducting bombing during day and night.
'The results of aircraft noise modelling indicate that the aircraft noise exposures from the Super Hornet compare with noise generated by busy road traffic and construction work.
'While Defence makes every effort to minimise the effects of noise on the community, aircraft noise will never be eliminated... and residents in close proximity to Evans Head are likely to be exposed to greater amounts of aircraft noise than experienced in the last few years.'
The statement goes on to read that 'glare from reflective surfaces can affect the visibility of pilots during daylight hours, and artificial water bodies can attract additional birdlife and may expose RAAF aircraft to birdstrike, posing a risk to personnel.
'Based on the above concerns, defence does not support the proposed application.'
Financial Review, 30 March 2011:

Receivers for companies of struggling Gold Coast property developer Graeme Ingles have forced the sale of three major land holdings that could fetch up to $20 million.
The new batch of offerings adds to the bloated stock of Gold Coast land parcels on offer through receivers.
St George Bank has appointed receivers John Shanahan and Ginette Muller of KordaMentha to sell Mr Ingles’s two high-rise development sites at Southport, which could fetch up to $15 million.
The sites total more than 11,000 square metres and both have development approvals for up to 44 levels, including more than 700 apartments.

Smart Company, 20 October 2008:
The Federal Court has found a property developer made misleading claims about the progress of construction of a golf course that was the centerpiece of a Gold Coast property development.
The Federal Court has found a property developer made misleading claims about the progress of construction of a golf course that was the centerpiece of a Gold Coast property development.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took action against Queensland developer Ingles Group and its managing director, Graeme Ingles, over the Tee Trees Residential Golf Community estate at Arundel.
A major selling feature was that it would include a golf course, but there were significant delays in construction of the course.
In 2003, the Ingles Group distributed a letter to potential buyers, providing an update on the golf course construction and a purported explanation for the delays.
But the Federal Court found that by sending the letter to potential buyers, the Ingles Group engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), 17 October 2008:


Justice Spender declared that, by sending the letter to potential buyers, the Ingles Group engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.  It had breached section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by:

  • representing that it had approval from the Gold Coast City Council to construct the golf course when in fact the approval granted was only preliminary and required that various further steps be taken before final approval could be granted
  • representing that the sole or primary cause of delay in construction was the drought when the primary cause was failure to obtain final council approval 
  • representing that it had called for tenders for bulk earthworks for the completion of the course and was awaiting the tender results when it had not yet called for tenders
  • representing that bulk earthworks for completion of the golf course would begin once tenders were received, when it did not have reasonable grounds for making such a claim, and
  • representing, by implication, that the course's construction would soon be well under way and would not be subject to any significant delays when it did not have reasonable grounds for such a claim, and when there were likely to be further significant delays.
According to Democracy 4 Sale from 2003 through to 2006 the Ingles Group made politcal donations to whichever of the two main poiltical parties held government in Queensland during those years.