Nationals fight to save forest

Nats in fight to save forest

JOHN JEAYES

06 Apr, 2010 09:03 AM

IN what has to be a political first, the NSW Nationals and the Greens have independently decided to fight the proposal by Minister Tony Kelly to reactivate a development application for 80 new lots at Crescent Head.

When Mr Kelly settled the Dunghutti native title claim with compensation to the Dunghutti people of $6.1 million, he announced the subdivision at Goolawah Estate would proceed.

This announcement dumbfounded many locals, who had been assured by the Taree Lands office that the Government would never allow that area to be developed because of an endangered ecological community in the forest.

Oxley MP and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner told the Argus:

“The NSW Labor Government has a bad reputation for being too close to the development industry, but in this case they have become the developer themselves.

“In their haste to recover the $6.1 million they had to outlay over the bungled land title case, they are set to breach all the principles of environmental protection.

“The Keneally Labor Government is set to bulldoze trees and other habitat of a number of species, including likely endangered species.

“This is a Government now completely devoid of any form of moral compass.”

Greens MLC Ian Cohen had stood in the Goolawah forest years, wearing an animal suit, when the community campaigned to conserve it.

He also thought the battle had been won.

He said it was absolutely hypocritical of Mr Kelly to talk about sensitivity on one hand regarding management of Crown Land but on the other to be prepared to destroy a link in the corridor system through Limeburners Nature Reserve, the new Goolawah National Park and then through Hat Head National Park, linking the Hastings River with the Macleay.

He pointed to the need for links between vegetated areas under the effects of global warming to allow migration.

He said to allege there was a chronic shortage of residential homes in Crescent Head was disingenuous.

A large proportion of the town consisted of shells rented out to tourists, and it made no sense to destroy a valuable forest when there was a proposal for 111 to 150 homes 200m away at Killuke.Top of Form

 IN what has to be a political first, the NSW Nationals and the Greens have independently decided to fight the proposal by Minister Tony Kelly to reactivate a development application for 80 new lots at Crescent Head.

When Mr Kelly settled the Dunghutti native title claim with compensation to the Dunghutti people of $6.1 million, he announced the subdivision at Goolawah Estate would proceed.

This announcement dumbfounded many locals, who had been assured by the Taree Lands office that the Government would never allow that area to be developed because of an endangered ecological community in the forest.

Oxley MP and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner told the Argus:

“The NSW Labor Government has a bad reputation for being too close to the development industry, but in this case they have become the developer themselves.

“In their haste to recover the $6.1 million they had to outlay over the bungled land title case, they are set to breach all the principles of environmental protection.

“The Keneally Labor Government is set to bulldoze trees and other habitat of a number of species, including likely endangered species.

“This is a Government now completely devoid of any form of moral compass.”

Greens MLC Ian Cohen had stood in the Goolawah forest years, wearing an animal suit, when the community campaigned to conserve it.

He also thought the battle had been won.

He said it was absolutely hypocritical of Mr Kelly to talk about sensitivity on one hand regarding management of Crown Land but on the other to be prepared to destroy a link in the corridor system through Limeburners Nature Reserve, the new Goolawah National Park and then through Hat Head National Park, linking the Hastings River with the Macleay.

He pointed to the need for links between vegetated areas under the effects of global warming to allow migration.

He said to allege there was a chronic shortage of residential homes in Crescent Head was disingenuous.

A large proportion of the town consisted of shells rented out to tourists, and it made no sense to destroy a valuable forest when there was a proposal for 111 to 150 homes 200m away at Killuke.

The Coalition spokesperson on the environment, Catherine Cusack, will visit the site on April 18 to gain a first hand appraisal of the situation.

Mark Baxter of the Crescent Head Ratepayers and Residents Association welcomed the politicians’ involvement and said he was amazed at the level of support locally, and from all over NSW.

Mr Baxter said: “We are ecstatic that the Greens MLC, Sylvia Hale, is flying up especially to address a Ratepayers information meeting next Friday at the Community Hall at Crescent Head, with a dinner later at the Thai restaurant of the Mediterranean Motel.”

“Another argument for preserving the forest is the fact that the forest provides a beautiful bush track that locals and tourists use to walk to back beach.

“The people who live at and holiday at Crescent Head should be allowed to have a say on how Crescent Head should grow and mature and not be dictated to by a cash-strapped government.

“All people concerned about this issue are invited to our meeting this Friday at 6.30pm.

Please phone me on 6566 0925 if you wish to stay for dinner at the Thai restaurant afterwards).”

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