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
The proposed development includes or is located adjacent to land of high environmental significance including Cudgen Nature Reserve, Cudgen Creek, Koala habitat, State Protected Wetlands (SEPP 14), Endangered Ecological Communities and habitat of Threatened flora and fauna.
The massive scale of the development requires that Environmental Assessment (EA) undertaken by the Department of Planning (DoP) takes into full consideration all aspects of impacts on the environment. The DoP needs to ensure that the community has full
confidence that the development will have minimal impact on native flora, fauna, plant communities and waterways prior to approval of Stage 1.
The trust of the community has already been breached by recent clearing of Melaleuca forest adjacent to Blacks Creek and dredging of the creek within Cudgen Nature Reserve adjacent to the development site. This application should be deferred until there is a court decision on the unauthorised clearing and draining of Blacks Creek.
I object to the Stage 1 application on the following grounds;
Staging of the dedication of environmental protection land to Tweed Shire Council or OEH throughout the project DGR 2.4.
All environmental protection lands to be dedicated and transferred to Tweed Shire Council and OEH in the early stages of the project. It is essential that these lands are transferred in their current condition prior to commencement of earthworks which could cause damage to
native vegetation and function of wetlands. Alternatively should the dedications be staged there should be strict conditions and a bond to ensure that there is no clearing or degradation of these areas. There is insufficient detail on the dedication of land to Council and OEH.
Long term management and maintenance of environmental areas and open space DGR 2.5. and Updates of various management plans DGR 9.4. These two points have not been adequately addressed by the proponent.
All EA and recommendations included in the Koala, vegetation, weed, landscaping and buffer management plans should be consistent and there should be no duplication or overlap. There should be an integrated implementation table (work schedules, timing and costing) included for all related works. Planting and restoration areas should be in suitable locations and habitats, e.g. heath has very specific habitat requirements.
There should be clear guidelines for the proponent to implement management of the areas over a minimum 5 year period. Tweed Shire Council and OEH should be involved in the planning of the implementation and maintenance schedules and costings. Measurable Performance and Completion Criteria requires review and must ensure that the proponent achieves successful outcomes within given timeframes.
Koala Plan of Management (KPoM)
Although the KPoM has been revised is still does not adequately ensure the long term protection of Koalas. The fencing of housing enclaves provides some protection from dogs and vehicles but also brings into question numerous other issues such as ability of dogs to
move across grids, maintenance of fencing, barrier to movement and entrapment. The east- west corridor has been deferred to a later stage whereas it should be identified and included in the KPoM. Current road design, proposed golf course provisions and lack of east west
corridor do not provide for adequate protection of Koalas. Koalas currently move through the majority of the site.
There are inconsistencies with other management plans particularly related to the planting of the Koala food trees. Plantings should not be in heathland restoration areas, within the identified Littoral Rainforest and APZs. The PoM should include a detailed implementation
table as per previous point. Dogs ownership should be prohibited. The KPoM does not sufficiently address DGRs 9.5 – 9.9.
The Bushfire Risk Management Plan to include ecological considerations. The Asset Protection Zones should not be included within Ecological Buffers.
Removal of Littoral Rainforest which is a state and federally listed Endangered Ecological Community.
The proponent requests ongoing maintenance of Blacks Creek within the site which includes removal of sediment. Drainage of the site relies on the flow of Blacks Creek from Kings Forest through Cudgen Nature Reserve to Cudgen Creek. Sections of the creek are within
state protected wetlands. Adequate drainage through Blacks Creek is required in time of flood but the EA has not provided details of recommended cross sections.
Monitoring of the success of all plantings and restoration should be undertaken by an independent consultant. An independent environmental officer should be employed throughout the project to ensure compliance with relevant conditions of consent. Both
positions to be funded by the proponent through Tweed Shire Coouncil.
Insufficient details of proposed earthworks with likely adverse effects on hydrology and native plant communities. There are proposed cuts of up to 2m adjacent to existing native vegetation.
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