Photo above: A paddle protest against the Iron Gates development was held in the Evans River. Photo: Contributed
Evans Head resident Ian Rankin has set up an online petition opposing the Iron Gates development next to the Evans River.
Set up on behalf of the Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development Inc the petition calls on “like-minded residents and visitors to help protect Evans Head from this irresponsible (housing) development” he wrote on the campaign page.
“My late mum opposed a similar development at the same location in 1990s,” Mr Rankin said.
“It is back again, with a new company name (GoldCoral Pty Ltd) but with the same director (Graeme Ingles).”
The development submitted by GoldCoral seeks to build a satellite housing subdivision in a sensitive coastal environment which is a mix of native vegetation, wetlands and rainforest, he said.
“The Evans River, already under environmental pressure will suffer irreversible consequences if this development proceeds,.”
His concerns about the river environment were; more pollution in the river, damage to the beauty of the natural environment, the endangerment of fish and the threat to the habitat and fauna populations including koalas.
“NSW Fisheries advises there should be a 40-metre set back of housing from the river. The developer wants a 10-metre setback,” he said.
The Iron Gates area is considered a place of high cultural significance for traditional Bandjalang custodians and Aboriginal people of the wider Bundjalung Nation. It includes both ceremonial and massacre sites, he said.
“The riverfront is subject to Federal Court Native Title Determinations recognising the rights of the Bandjalang people. The developer acknowledges the presence of middens within the project area.”
The aim of the petition is to close the Iron Gates area to inappropriate development, once and for all, Mr Rankin said.
Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development Inc ask that:
1. The Northern Regional Planning Panel NSW refuse this satellite development because it is unsuitable in this location. It will damage our fragile river system and is not in character with the village style of Evans Head.
2. That the NRPP insist on adequate and current consultations with the Bandjalang people and traditional custodians of the land be conducted before DA 2015/0096 is considered.
3. The NRPP reject DA 2015/0096 because of the very high fire risk of the location and its proximity to the air weapons range.
4. The NRPP reject DA 2015/0096 based on the high level of opposition from the local community.
Richmond Valley Council have put the DA on public exhibition for one month until 11.30pm on Sunday, October 24.
Public submissions will be compiled and collated into a report for the NRPP, the consent authority.
For those interested in signing the petition click here – opens in new tab