Goolawah Update 4

April 10, 2010

Friday night’s information meeting was a success (except Baxter forgot the donations bucket and we have no money:)). The film we drafted for Dissent will be further cut, possibly by Stateline’s producer Murray Travis.

It has already given us grief cutting it down from 25 minutes. All that hard hitting stuff about KKK (Kristine Koala Killer) and how State Labor is becoming the political equivalent of chlamydia. Oh well ,it will get to them somehow no doubt and perhaps cause some reflection on what Labor is doing to its chances of getting back in in 12 years instead of the 16 they are looking at, depending of course what the other mob do when they have their turn.

In a pure democracy I suppose there would be no Plain, Coast and Hill, no parties , just people voting on conscience for what they know in their heart is best. Maybe that is the original meaning of anarchy.Maybe we should start a Crossing the Floor Party for politicians with conscience. Now who could we invite?

I know one. Most people I spoke to were interested in Sylvia’s explanation of Labor’s Planning legislation and Part 3A  and the political donations flowing into the system. Her warning about the Government going 3A is pertinent.IF we get one more vote out of the councillors we might be able to frustrate the government for a while if they submit a full DA with infrastructure designed to cater for their 80 houses and Portofino’s etc etc the Government could get this done in a couple of months. Then we will have to consider locking on.That is possible with help from my friends perhaps if there is local support for an action like that. We will see if it gets to that.

I was stoked the young girls came and I am told Sylvia will read out something for them on what they are doing at school in their YECs group. Kempsey High and I think also Melville have a small group of students engaged in a Youth Environment Committee or similar named committee looking at water consumption and so on. Sylvia has I am told offered to read into Hansard in Parliament something they would like to say to our leaders. Maybe that could be about this issue but that is their choice.Whatever it is all exciting and I am sure Sylvia is a model of how to break (smash to pieces)  the glass ceiling.

Yesterday two nice things happened to me. Catherine Cusack (Lib MLC) came up to Crescent especially to look at Goolawah Estate forest and was amazed that this thing is happening to us and our little forest.

Catherine understood the HCV straight away and the need to preserve the corridor link through the three NP. She will investigate that potential and discuss with Andrew what might be done in that direction.

The other important development yesterday was the North Coast Environment Council has offered to do a North Coast media release for us as we begin to step things up a little.

It should be an interesting time in both houses when State Parliament resumes. Perhaps Tony Kelly will adopt Anthony and go on paternity leave with Frank Sartor our erstwhile Minister and defender of the environment.

ABC Radio interview

April 8, 2010

Activist questions subdivision rethink

Posted April 7, 2010 12:17:00

An environmental activist wants to know why a coastal development east of Kempsey that was put ‘on hold’ is now going ahead.

John Jeayes says in 2006 the Department of Lands told him land to be used for sections three to five of the Goolawah Estate at Crescent Head was recommended for environmental conservation.

He says Planning Minister Tony Kelly has now announced the subdivision can go ahead.

Mr Jeayes says he will fight that decision.

“We’ve proved core koala habitat, with breeding females present,” he said.

“It’s old-growth forest, you’ve got several really old red gum trees there. We’ve found threatened species of bats there.

“Tony Kelly, his manager has advised that they have investigated the potential to do it legally and the legislation says they can so they will.”

Mr Jeayes says the development would threaten a number of fragile species.

“Core koala habitat, glossy black cockatoo habitat and habitat for threatened species of bats,” he said.

“Through the North Coast Environment Council we’ve asked the Environmental Defenders Office to do a freedom of information application on Departments of Lands and Planning and Kempsey Shire Council to find out why they changed their mind.”

Goolawah Update 3

April 8, 2010

Goolawah Update 3

And another crack in the wall.

Mark has done some great work opening up a line to Adrian Harte who is the director NSW Lands and dealing with the Goolawah Estate issue for Lands.

He has told us there are confusing government reports and he wants to come up and look around the block with me on April 22 or 23 at this stage. He probably does not want me hanging around while the Planning people including Karen Hembow are discussing it so he has agreed to do the tour beforehand.

Mark reports (and Harte confirmed with me today) the Department would not transgress any “threatened species guidelines”………..he agreed that Watkins letter is based on the ’original DA -1991’….AND NOTED THAT IN THAT DA it specifically said ‘that any environmental findings -after1991- would NOT affect the DA!..

However, Harte went on to say that ‘political considerations’ (like our objection to development) should be considered AND that ‘threatened species’ info TODAY means more than it did in ’91……

Harte talked to me today about the Department’s role and questioned re other public uses and I made the point strongly that the Department is covered with the alternate DA site across the road as far as land hunger/population pressure goes and it would be a public and environmental service to retain the link between the 3 National Parks providing a corridor under global warming for species migration.

Meeting tomorrow night, Community Hall 6.30, dinner at Thai Restaurant around 7.45 pm.Sylvia Hale to speak and we have draft Dissent Film.

Mark is doing the rounds of the village and is getting great response from tourists.Tell Baxter on 65660925 if you want to come to the dinner  with Sylvia Hale.

We are winning. We have come a long way from the Minister and Warwick Watkins saying the subdivision will go ahead but that is not because they just decided it would be a good idea to think again. It is all our efforts and we need letters to Argus and Sydney Morning Herald now.Post your letters on this blogs letters section after they are published and they will come to me for acceptance.

Letters on Goolawah Estate

April 7, 2010

From: FW: DEMOCRACY IN ACTION Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 23:13:40 +1000

Dear Premier,

I write to inform you of an impending disaster.

MinisterTony Kelly recently announced the government

would go ahead with the ‘clear-felling’ of a forest on

the doorstep of our small coastal community-Crescent


1. The forest has been considered for ‘protected’ zoning by the dept of

land (Taree 2008)

2. Minister Kelly has decided to over-rule this decision….after awarding

the Indigenous of the Macleay Valley (The Dunghutti) $6 million for their

successful Native Title claim (1996)-the first land claim in australia

after the historic 1992 Mabo High Court decision-………mr. Kelly

immediately declares the government would ‘develop’ the land , clearing it

and providing 80 house blocks (@ $250,000 each…so a nice profit of

$20,000,000)………………………..”what a con job on the

indigenous-were they really given market price for their land’…ha

3.We the residents of Crescent Head DON’T WANT THE FOREST DESTROYED…IT



4.Not only will the the destruction of a magical forest-right on our

doorstep- be a disaster……………..but the massive swing against your

government would be a disaster(believe me ,i am a staunch Labor man and i

don’t want to see you lose government,but , if you proceed with this

‘develpoment’ , you will alienate thousands of voters (every holiday 1-2

thousand visitors come to crescent head.. we have been canvassing support

for our protest , and i am astonished at how passionate the visitors are

to keep this secret , magical forest preserved!








Blinky Bill’s Last Stand

Having read John Jeayes’ article, “The Money or the Koala” (Argus Tuesday,
March 16th) I can only feel sadness, dismay and frustration. Politicians
and bureaucrats are slaves to ego, power and especially mindless process;
they are completely amoral (at best) in their actions. All they see in

this matter is a strip of land at Crescent Head that can be converted into

suburban blocks and translated into immediate and transient cash.

Insensitive side-liners probably only see a group of ‘greenies’ protesting

yet another act which they so blindly accept as ‘development’ and

‘progress’ (two great misnomers if ever there were some!). Let me ask

this: What is it that has attracted people to live here either as

indigenous, second or third generation residents or as recent immigrants

to the area? It certainly isn’t suburban sprawl. I would like to think

that it is in fact the beautiful, natural environment in which we live and

in which we can raise our children. Can politicians or bureaucrats put a

dollar value on that? Is there any rationality that can balance such a

powerful and emotive yet real factor in the relationship between the

residents of this area and the land on which we live? I doubt it. In any

case, my family has seen the koalas at ‘Goolawah Estate’ (don’t you love

that word, ‘Estate’ – it gives it such a regal, British and post-colonial

air!). I’m sure that, if one of the koalas could speak, he or she would

say, “Sure thing guys. Come on in and rape, pillage and decimate my home.

After all, such devastation is in the name of progess . isn’t it?”

Sure he would!

Chris Dockrill

Crescent Head

Re: Goolawah Estate Sections 3-5 (Stage 2) Crescent Head, NSW
I wish to bring to your attention the following points regarding the above -a.. The Taree Lands Department advised the public in 2008 that because of the Endangered Ecological Community (Swamp Sclerophyll Forest) theGovernment would not go ahead with the Stage 2 subdivision and theland was recommended for Environmental Conservation

 b.. With settlement of the Native Title Claim by the Dunghutti Nation theMinister for Lands, Mr Tony Kelly MP handed over $6.1M and thenannounced the subdivision would go ahead

c.. Clearly there has been alack of communication between Mr Kelly’s office, NSW Lands and Taree Lands. d.. Apart from the EEC the area to be clear felled has Core Koala Habitat. It is 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the State Labor Government should not be planning to exterminate a local population of Koala in an area nominated for protection by the KSCdraft CKPoM (Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management).

This area must be incorporated within the new Goolawah National Parkgiving a corridor link from the Hastings River to the Macleay Riverthrough Limeburners Nature Reserve, Goolawah NP, Hat Head NP and the forest from Spencers Creek to New Entrance.The Goolawah Estate forest gives a natural amenity within easy walking distance from the township of Crescent Head to Back Beach.

In this age of broadscale environmental destruction not only in Australia but throughout the world, surely government authorities must realize the LONG TERM TOURISM DOLLAR VALUE of areas such as Goolawah, as opposed to the SHORT SIGHTED MONEY GRAB OF DEVELOPMENT WHICH WILL BRING A FEW DOLLARS ONCE ONLY.

Governments represent the future of Australia. Wake up Australia.

Anthony Bischoff

Port Macquarie

In regard to the proposed Goolawah development at Crescent Heads John Jeayes asks the question, “The money or the Koala?”  Let me try to answer it with a ‘connecting the dots’ exercise. 


Some of the facts relating to the development include:


  • A local government with serious money problems due mainly to ever-increasing infrastructure needs.
  • A state government in the same situation for more reasons than anyone could count. 
  • A federal government that makes its most far-reaching decisions without consulting the electorate.  I’m referring in this instance to the decision to massively increase the national population as a crude, but effective, way to keep the economy booming.
  • A development industry making a fortune out of providing accommodation for the growing population.  Both the industry and government justify it by saying it ‘provides jobs.’
  • Locals against the development that destroys their liveable communities and turns their remaining natural environment into a built environment.
  •  Public policies about ‘environmentally sustainable development’ by all levels of government, none of which understand that the phrase is a contradiction.


Connecting the dots you get some answers.  The increasing population needs somewhere to live.  Providing it is a source of money for governments and developers and, because local communities and the environment are in conflict with these priorities, they are ignored.  Jobs are provided but, as populations grow, more people need jobs…a classic vicious cycle.  In short, the whole phenomenon is population driven and, until it stops, natural Australia will be progressively destroyed as it’s converted to urban and suburban Australia.  The money wins.  The koala loses! 


By all means help John to stop the Goolawah development, but understand that it and similar efforts will be difficult challenges as long as the federal government has its foot on the population accelerator.

Bob Wolcott

South West Rocks


April 14, 2010

The Hon. Tony Kelly. Minister for Planning

Governor Macquarie Tower 

Level 34, 1  Farrer Place, SYDNEY

 NSW 2000


Dear Mr Kelly

re Goolawah Estate Sections 3-5 (Stage 2) Crescent Head, NSW


I write because I’m worried that you don’t understand the importance of protecting habitat in NSW. The Goolawah Estate was recommended for Environmental Conservation in 2008.  I urge you, as Planning Minister, to use your power to protect this habitat.


The area to be clear felled has Core Koala Habitat, glossy black cockatoo habitat, threatened species of bats, black flying fox, ground and tree orchids, old growth grey gum and red gum with up to 10 hollows in a couple of trees, Allocasuarina littoralis (Glossy black cockatoo food tree) and several different flora communities in a small high conservation value forest.


The area should be incorporated within the new Goolawah National Park giving a corridor link from the Hastings River to the Macleay River through Limeburners Nature Reserve, Goolawah NP, Hat Head NP and the forest from Spencers Creek to New Entrance.  The Goolawah Estate forest gives a natural amenity within easy walking distance from the township of Crescent Head to Back Beach.


It is 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the State Labor Government should not be planning to exterminate a local population of Koala in an area nominated for protection by the KSC draft CKPoM (Comprehensive  Koala Plan of Management).


There is land elsewhere for housing.  It is not necessary to pillage natural forest and the NSW Labor Government needs to show its understanding of the value of such forest.  When all costs (including externalities) are taken into account, natural bush is priceless.


Yours, etc.




Nationals fight to save forest !

April 7, 2010

Nats in fight to save forest


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 ago, 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).”

April 1, 2010

A green view Minister chose money, not koala

April 1, 2010

A green view Minister chose money, not koala


30 Mar, 2010 08:21 AM

I WAS devastated to find last week that Minister Tony Kelly has chosen the money he will get from flogging off 80 housing blocks at Goolawah Estate, rather than save the koala I found there and named after him.

I felt sure when I wrote in this column last time that no matter what cynical people told me to expect from this Government, Mr Kelly, once he knew the real facts about the high conservation value of this very special patch of forest, would reverse his decision to open up the Goolawah Estate Sections 3-5 (Stage 2) for subdivision.

I thought that surely he had just not been properly informed.

I figured the decision by the local Department of Lands at Taree to ask Kempsey Shire Council to rezone that area for Environmental Conservation had not been conveyed to him.

So I spent an awful lot of time last week trying to get assurance from his advisor, Michael O’Brien, that Mr Kelly actually knew the full facts.

Even when I got the reply from Warwick Watkins, chief executive of the NSW Land and Property Management department writing on behalf of Mr Kelly, I still could not believe Mr Kelly actually knew about the Endangered Ecological Community he was about to destroy, the core koala habitat where breeding koalas come, where the beautiful glossy black cockatoos feed, drink and spread their feathers showing that glorious flash of red.

The area where I sat at night for a week recording threatened species of bats with an anabat recorder under a big old red gum.

Where one night a great brush-tailed possum bailed out of his hollow in a tree and crashed down into the leaves of a tree beside me.

Where I saw an antechinus, a curious little marsupial hopping mouse type thing, come down out of the old red gum tree right on dusk to look at me and just hop past once he worked out I would not harm him.

But Mr Kelly and this State Labor Government will. They really will clear fell the whole bloody place with bulldozers and chainsaws.

They will churn up the soil and shape it into nice flat blocks and advertise them for people who love nature and the lovely environment in a seaside village to come and buy the blocks from them.

And fill up a tiny little bit of the black hole comically known as the State Budget.

It should make an excellent photo opportunity for Kristina Keneally in her high heels up there on the bulldozer in a hard hat.

Clearly State Labor have lost their moral compass.

I grew up in a Labor family.

Johnny Weingarth, an old mate of mine from Crescent, even talked me into handing out once for Neville Wran. “Wran’s Our Man” I think the poster said.

I saw Paul Landa give us the EP&A Act which at last gave the environment some protection from inappropriate development, with legislation such as the Threatened Species Conservation Act.

I saw Bob Carr and Bob Debus create new national parks up and down the coast, not enough but it was a great step.

What happened to State Labor? What happened to the true believers and the people who understood the need for development, for jobs and prosperity for the working man and his family but alongside the preservation of what makes Australia a great country?

Well, Nathan Rees would not let the Shooters into national parks and that took some courage because they knew the Shooters could stop their legislation in the Legislative Council.

I saw Nathan Rees in his dying moments as premier try to save the Riverina red gum with the declaration of some badly needed national parks.

Keneally, Sartor and Macdonald soon got rid of that, apart from a greatly reduced area, while still allowing logging in the future NP for five years.

In the past 15 years the NSW Labor Party has taken the integrity out of the EP&A Act, and invented new legislation which allows developers to rort the system.

That includes the BioBanking system which was designed to allow clearing of high conservation value vegetation with offsets and a credits system.

The NSW Nature Conservation Council rightly refused to touch it and would not lend the BioBanking system development credibility with their presence.

So far not one developer has used it because it is so much cheaper and efficient to just use Part 3A.

State Labor has brought in Biocertification to zone whole areas so developers are not inconvenienced with little patches of threatened species.

When he was minister for planning, Frank Sartor, ironically now the new Minister for Environment, introduced the planning strategies which have allowed huge “development with constraints” areas, which is code for possibly high conservation value areas that the developers want.

State Labor promised five year reviews of things such as the Private Native Forestry Code, the Plantation Code, and the Regional Forest Agreements which are never done on time and are usually a whitewash, just a tick-a-box effort to pretend they care about environmental damage.

I thought Mr Kelly was not part of this entire disregard for the community and its environment.

And I still hope he has not been fully informed and will change this decision.

Despite Warwick Watkins’ claims of “the chronic shortage of developable residential land in Crescent Head”, the Department of Planning has deliberately held up the rezoning of Goolawah Estate to ‘Environmental Conservation’ while they sorted things out with the native title claim in the courts.

All the time they were secretly planning to reactivate the subdivision against the explicit advice of the Taree Department of Lands based upon their own environmental consultant’s report.

And they have continually frustrated the Portofino DA on the Killuke land across the road at the base of the mountain.

Last Thursday the Environmental Defenders Office launched, on behalf of the North Coast Environment Council, a Freedom of Information Application on all the Departments of Lands and Planning correspondence involved in this case, along with the Minister’s office and the Kempsey Shire Council.

Perhaps that search of internal memorandums and communications between all those parties will turn up some interesting facts.

And if you never thought you would see the day The Nationals fought to save a forest, just watch this space.

the Portofino option

March 25, 2010

History at Goolawah Estate

Portofino is a DA proposed across the road at the bottom Killuke Mt onthe northern side and is mostly cleared land. IF we have to have more houses in Crescent then this is preferred as long as they don’t try to cut  down trees up the slope in Maria River Regional Crown reserve for their  Asset Protection Zone (APZ) for fire protection..

The following is an extract from the report to Council at its meeting  of 12 August 2008 in relation to the Strategic Planning Program. The  expected lot yield from the (Portifino) expansion is 111 to 150 lots    which is very much a preliminary estimate and is subject to completion of detailed studies.

Crescent Head Expansion

The Lands Office has agreed to Council acquiring land to provide road access and the applicant has been in regular contact to progress this proposal. Council resolved to prepare this LEP in August 2003, and a number of circumstances have changed since that time, including the previous advice of the Department of Lands not to proceed with the development of stages III to V of the Goolawah Estate at that time.

The draft LEP was referred to the LEP Review Panel, whereby the Panel advised of its refusal to authorise exhibition of the plan as the rezoningwould “leap frog” other areas proposed for development.

A letter requesting the Department of Land’s intentions in respect to the Goolawah Estate was forwarded in November 2006.

The Department subsequently confirmed that they no longer wish to  proceed with subdivision of stages III to V.

Investigations into the possibility of “down zoning” the land to Environmental Protection and the feasibility of rezoning land further tothe south progressed and advice was received from the Department of Planning that they would be prepared to consider the rezoning request, subject to the land being included in a revised Residential Land Release Strategy and the Goolawah Estate being rezoned to Environmental Protection.

The Department of Lands was advised of the intended course of action in September 2007 to ensure they had no objections.

The Department of Lands has now advised that rezoning the land to Environmental Protection “…would be both premature and not appropriate at this time.” pending finalisation of a Native Title claim. The Department of Land’s advice was conveyed to the Department of Planning seeking confirmation that the draft LEP may proceed in light of the objection from the Department of Lands.

By letter of 8th March 2008, the Department of Planning formally requested the Department of Lands to withdraw their objection.

 Progress since May 2008: By letter of 11th June 2008, the Department of Planning advised Council that the draft LEP may now proceed without the inclusion of the down zoning of Goolawah Estate Stages III to V.

It will now be necessary to call for EOIs to prepare a Local Environmental Study for the land. If the developer wishes Council to assign this project a high priority, it will be necessary to seek their agreement to fund a consultant to manage the project on behalf of Council

help save Goolawah Estate forest

March 25, 2010

Dot points for letters re Goolawah Estate

  • Goolawah Estate Sections 3-5 (Stage 2) Crescent Head, NSW
  • The Taree Lands Department advised the public in 2008 that because of the Endangered Ecological Community (Swamp Sclerophyll Forest) the Government would not go ahead with the Stage 2 subdivision and the land was recommended for Environmental Conservation
  • With settlement of the Native Title Claim by the Dunghutti Nation the Minister for Lands, Mr Tony Kelly MP handed over $6.1M and then announced the subdivision would go ahead
  • Clearly there has been a lack of communication between Mr Kelly’s office, NSW Lands and Taree Lands.
  • Apart from the EEC the area to be clear felled has Core Koala Habitat, glossy black cockatoo habitat, threatened species of bats, black flying fox, ground and tree orchids, old growth grey gum and red gum with up to 10 hollows in a couple of trees,  Allocasuarina littoralis (Glossy black cockatoo food tree) and several different flora communities in a small high conservation value forest
  • The area should be incorporated within the new Goolawah National Park giving a corridor link from the Hastings River to the Macleay River through Limeburners Nature Reserve, Goolawah NP, Hat Head NP and the forest from Spencers Creek to New Entrance.
  • The Goolawah Estate forest gives a natural amenity within easy walking distance from the township of Crescent Head to Back Beach
  • It is 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the State Labor Government should not be planning to exterminate a local population of Koala in an area nominated for protection by the KSC draft CKPoM (Comprehensive  Koala Plan of Management)
  • There is land with a development application pending across the road on Killuke on mostly cleared land which can cater for the alleged chronic shortage of developable land and cleared rural land for several kilometres north of minimal agricultural value..

Goolawah Estate Contacts

The Macleay Argus

Michael O’Brien

Advisor to Tony Kelly MLC Minister for Planning

Minister for Infrastructure,Minister for Lands

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Leader of the House in the Legislative Council


Phone: (02) 9228 3999

Fax: 9228 3988

Sharon Armstrong

Tony Kelly, Private Secretary

Andrew Stoner Leader of the NSW Nats and member for Oxley

“Andrew Stoner” <>

Phone: 65626190

Fax: 65631355

Rob Oakeshott  MP     Independent Fed member for Lyne(which includes Crescent Head)

Phone: 65842911 (advisor)

Ian Cohen MLC Greens-north coast enviro etc

“Ian Cohen” <>

Phone: 9230 2204

                           Kempsey Shire councillors are not consent authority until DA

stage but you might want to tell them how you feel about things..

If you press Control and click on the links it should take you to the

contact details including email for your representatives.

Note that Cr Janet Hayes is on the koala advisory committee. (!)

Jenny Sproule is quite positive and lists ESD as her interest,

Betty Green also worked hard on the ESD committee and

Jimmy Gribbin is always against inappropriate development.

Dean Saul and Alan Snowsill helped with Plomer Rd but not

sure about this one.

                           Councillor John Bowell Mayor

                          Councillor Liz Campbell Deputy Mayor
                         Councillor Betty Green
                          Councillor Jim Gribbin
                        Councillor Janet Hayes
                         Councillor Dean Saul
                       Councillor Alan Snowsill
                        Councillor Jenny Sproule
                        Councillor Ellis Walker




March 22, 2010

John Jeayes writing on my blog.I am an environmental activist interested in local issues on the mid north coast of NSW, Australia, as well as state , national and world issues. My particular areas of involvement include biodiversity, marine, coastal development and of course the big picture , Climate Change and to some extent population growth.

I work with a couple of peak e-ngos, am a retired teacher and write a column “A green view” with my regional The Macleay Argus.

At the moment I am flat out campaigning to save a forest at Goolawah Estate Sects 3-5 which borders Crescent Head on the NSW Mid North Coast.

We thought we had won this one years ago but with the settlement of the Native Title Claim with an agreed $6.1 M the Minister for Lands,Planning and Infrastructure announced the subdivision would now go ahead.

My article below:

The money or the koala


16 Mar, 2010 08:40 AM

I WAS just appalled to read that Kempsey Shire mayor John Bowell could see economic and social benefits through houses being built at Goolawah Estate – but could see no environmental consequences.

The mayor listed the Recommendation Implications in a mayoral minute on the assessment of Minister Tony Kelly’s declared intention to develop Goolawah Estate Sects 3-5 (Stage 2). The Environmental Implication listed is ‘Nil’.

I thought it was obvious the mayor and the Environmental Services Department were fully aware of the previous intention to rezone the area to Environmental Protection.

Cr Bowell had expressed his belief to Mr Kelly’s advisor that he believed the subdivision was not to go ahead.

I worked on Council’s Ecologically Sustainable Development Policy for months but it was obviously a waste of time.

There was supposed to be a triple bottom line assessment of anything put up to council.

How on earth Cr Bowell’s mayoral minute proclaims there will be no environmental implications in clearing a forest containing an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) is beyond me.

Anyone who has read the reports by Kendall and Kendall and the Department of Lands’ own “threatened species” report would realise that in that forest there is an Endangered Ecological Community (Swamp Sclerophyll Forest), Core Koala Habitat, Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat and several threatened species of bats.

It just makes you wonder why Kempsey Shire Council continually publishes notices of its open and transparent public communication policy when not even the councillors are told there will be very serious environmental consequences to clearing a forest of any type, let alone this particular forest with such high conservation value.

Last time I wrote about KSC’s draft Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management and wrote about the fine qualities in some of the staff and consultants’ planning.

But what good is it to design all these wonderful policies if you don’t pay any attention to them in real life?

There will be environmental consequences in destroying this forest.

And this is not settled yet.

The Minister’s adviser was unaware (incredibly) of an earlier determination by Lands Taree that the area was never to be developed.

Similarly Lands Taree had no idea the Minister was about to announce the subdivision.

I have in my possession an assurance from Lands Taree that in 2008 the State Government was arguing the land was not going to be developed and cannot be developed due to the Endangered Ecological Community, and that irrespective of what happens with council’s zoning the next stage is dead.

However, it seems then that the Government had to settle the Dunghutti native title claim at the value of the original development application, and now they want to make their money back and then some.

If you were conservative and reckoned the 80 blocks would reach say $250,000 per block that is a nice $20 million to fill up part of the hole in Labor’s treasury. That might be too much temptation.

All that lovely rate money and developer contributions have also got our council salivating, no doubt.

This second stage of Goolawah Estate has some interesting history. It began with the lodgement by Mary Lou Buck of a native title claim on behalf of the Dunghutti for that land, and a stop on development after the Lands Department auctioned off Stage 1 Sections 1-2.

The claim was eventually settled in the Dunghutti’s favour.

Then ensued a court battle between the Dunghutti Elders and the Kempsey Land Council with the Elders eventually being declared by the court to be the rightful representatives of the traditional owners.

While this was going on Stage 2 just sat there doing its thing – growing its biodiversity.

The Lands Department originally commissioned an ecological consultant company called Wildthing which did an environmental study of the land known as Goolawah Estate Stage 2 sections 3-5.

Wildthing found there was no significant impediment to a subdivision of about 93 housing lots.

The Crescent Head Ratepayers and Residents Association considered that result outrageous and commissioned Kendall and Kendall to do an environmental report.

Kendalls found there was potential koala habitat, glossy black cockatoo habitat and the greater broad-nosed bat using the area.

So Lands then commissioned an ecologist, Ben Lewis, to do a “threatened species” study. There is no such named study but that is what they called it. Lewis confirmed Kendall and Kendall’s results and added sightings of koala to the list.

Later the Ratepayers proved core koala habitat with video, photos and a statutory declaration from a nearby resident of a female koala with a joey on her back crossing Baker Dve into the forest at Goolawah Estate.

After that the Taree Department of Lands threw up their hands and gave up any intention of going ahead with the development.

Lands advised KSC that they would not proceed, as stated by Robert Pitt in his report to Council on the August 12, 2008, and wished the council to rezone the land to Environmental Protection.

Lands agreed in compensation to consider rezoning land further to the south (presumably the proposed subdivision for the northern section of Killuke Mountain at the base).

Oh yes, for those carping on about the need for “jobs for our kids” and for 1000 more people in Crescent Head, there is cleared land all around Crescent Head.

However, Mr Pitt explained that Lands had advised later that rezoning was premature.

Now we understand why.

The land at Goolawah estate Stage 2 had been incorporated within the Draft Maria River Regional Crown Reserve and outside the Draft Mid North Coast Regional Planning Strategy.

My inquiries so far have revealed that the land has crept back into the Planning Strategy as future urban expansion, and the map is covered with black dots indicating environmental constraints

Last Thursday with Alan Gill of Crescent Head we were doing a bird survey in the land at Stage 2 when I discovered a very large male koala. Of course I named him Anthony.

The poor thing is there not knowing what the humans with the power over his life and environment are planning in this International Year of Biodiversity 2010.

I wonder what Minister Tony Kelly will decide. Does State Labor need money so desperately it will clear fell a forest with such incredible conservation value?

What is it to be, Mr Kelly? The money or the koala?

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