The Director Metropolitan and Regional Projects North
Major Projects Assessment
Dept of Planning
GPO Box 39
Sydney, NSW 2001
Re: KINGS FOREST Stage 1 Subdivision and Bulk Earthworks – Application No. 08_0194
I hereby wish to object to this Stage 1 application for the following reasons:-
1. The Director General requires that information in the Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) not be misleading. However, there are too many inconsistencies, inadequate explanations and variances with the EAR 2011. There must either be a new EAR or an amended application.
2. Cudgen Lake (a State Significant Coastal Lake), Cudgen Nature Reserve, Cudgen Creek system (nominated marine protected areas) and Blacks Creek need an Ecological Health Study (EHS) urgently before any earthworks drainage enters the Cudgen Marine System. There needs to be a Sustainability Assessment and Management Strategy prepared. There needs to be a referral to UNESCO for the
impacts of this development on World Heritage values of the Caldera’s coastal lowlands which are integral food sources in winter. Cudgen waterways provide significant feeding and breeding habitat for many water bird species including threatened species. Tweed already has the highest concentration of threatened species in Australia which is why resumption of Kings Forest should be seriously considered.
3. The development footprint of this project is too large considering the high level of biodiversity, threatened species and endangered ecological communities at risk. The community needs till at least end of February to understand the issues and there needs to be public consultation by both the developer and state planning.
4. The Cudgen Paddock and eastern side were assessed by NSW Dept Environment officers in the 2005 zoning, council staff and councillors for the Concept Plan 2009 and other ecologists who all agreed this was the minimum area needed to maintain biodiversity. A golf course encourages feral species, further threatening native species in Cudgen Nature Reserve. No development is the best plan.
5. The Koala Plan of Management (KPOM) fails to protect the remaining 144 coastal koalas, already on the brink of extinction (Koala Habitat Study 2011). It does not ensure adequate connectivity and safe passage of koalas, proving that the land should never have been rezoned. There needs to be a full enquiry into the failure to back zone recommended by the Woodward Investigation of 2005.
Locking koalas out is a barrier to their movement on the site, contrary to the Concept KPOM. There is no proof that cattle grids deter dogs. Who will bear the expense of fence maintenance? There is no such thing as a koala-friendly dog and one bite will kill a koala. The scent of a dog disturbs native species. The current KPOM does not prohibit dog breeds, numbers or require dusk-to-dawn housing. It relies on
the residents to enforce the KPOM when there should be an on-site environmental compliance officer from DEH or council.
If this development was Koala Beach style (no dogs, no visitor dogs, speed bumps every 100m, 40km speed limit) with speed cameras, electronic speed recorders, underpasses/overpasses and exclusion fencing near roads. no koala trees felled, new koala tree plantings beginning immediately, no roads intersecting koala corridors or environmental protection zones and the golf course used no neurotoxic, carcinogenic organophosphates, it would be better. Unless all dogs are banned from the site and the roads are koala-friendly, there is no point planting koala trees throughout, only to entice them to their deaths. Developer needs to set aside funds to establish a Management Committee to ensure koala protection and a rate levy to maintain it. Because this application is impacting matters of National Environmental Significance (NES), the EAR needs to be revised.
6. This application should be deferred until the government rules on the developer’s recent unauthorized recent clearing and draining of parts of Cudgen Nature Reserve adjacent to Kings Forest.
7. There are inadequate details in the Drainage Plan of Management for Precinct 5 in the event of heavy stormwater events. There needs to be a main drainage system for bulk earthworks immediately constructed. Blacks Creek needs a marine study of the ecosystem and water quality. A new Drainage POM is needed in order to improve the water quality of Blacks Creek now that the main use has changed from agriculture to residential development.
8. Kings Forest cattle dip site (containing unsafe levels of asbestos/arsenic) must be remediated before bulk earthworks begin at Precinct 11. Contaminated material must be removed from Kings Forest site.
9. Existing agricultural land use rights should no longer apply once earthwork activity begins for residential/commercial use.
10. Treatment of acid sulphate soils and stormwater drainage water quality needs to be monitored 6- monthly, particularly in the receiving waters of Black’s Creek. The results should be publically available.
11. The Water Sensitive Cities project (WSC) embraces stormwater harvesting, flood management, recycling and reuse programs, rainwater harvesting and water use efficiency programs. If Kings Forest adopted the National Water Initiative’s WSC strategies it would save Tweed Shire from having to build a dam at Byrrill Creek, impacting the 45 threatened species of fauna there.
12. Environmental Management Plans are lacking description of species proposed for regeneration and revegetation. Will there be independent monitoring? What quantity, type, location, timing and quality of compensatory plantings will be done and by whom. Re-establishing native vegetation in areas of cut could make the soil hostile to plant growth and hydrology. There needs to be funding into perpetuity by the developer for ecological maintenance with a bond placed. There are no new details in the Weed Management Plan. There needs to be a survey of weed cover undertaken now and results published for public view prior to approval.
13. Regarding dedication of land to NPWS, who supervises and pays for rehabilitation works? Regarding dedication of land for Environmental Protection areas to council, will this take place prior to construction or prior to the end of construction?
14. Ecological buffer zones need to be more than 50m and should not serve human use as well (bike/walking trails etc). There needs to be an analysis of impacts in buffer zones due to land changes.
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