Media Release: Serious concerns remain over Fishermans Bay environmental impact
In Parliament | 09.06.15
Serious concerns remain over Fishermans Bay environmental impact
The NSW Opposition has today called on the Planning Minister to examine closely the impact UrbanGrowth’s Fishermans Bay development will have on the area’s threatened species and the pristine coastline of Port Stephens.
Visiting the area with Port Stephens MP Kate Washington and Shadow Minister for Lands Mick Veitch, Shadow Minister for Planning and the Environment Penny Sharpe said the recent Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) failed to allay community concerns about the proposed development’s environmental impact.
The JRPP did not adequately address the development’s impact on the species living in Tomaree National Park and areas surrounding Fishermans Bay – including koalas, powerful owls and sugar gliders.
There are no less than 24 threatened fauna species that call Tomaree National Park home. These species will lose their habitat if the land between the two sections of the park is developed.
Shadow Minister for Planning and the Environment Penny Sharpe said: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. The Government only gets one chance to make the right choice here.
“I’m concerned this Liberal Government will continue its trend of choosing development over environmental conservation.
“Threatened species live and pass through the proposed site - including koalas, powerful owls and sugar gliders. The Minister shouldn’t ignore the impact the proposed development will have on these populations.
“This Government has a bad track record when it comes to being open and honest with the community about impacts on the local environment.”
Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington said: “The JRPP process has been unnecessary rushed – just another example of the lack of consultation with the community on this project.
“Clearing land for this development will split the two parts of Tomaree National Park – an area where we currently regularly see koalas and other native species.
“I encourage the Minister to come and see one of the remaining areas of pristine coastline and national park for himself.
“Minister Stokes should visit Fishermans Bay and explain to the locals, including the koala population, that this development won’t have a negative impact on the environment.”
Shadow Minister for Lands Mick Veitch said: “Fishermans Bay is an alarming example of this government taking crown lands out of public hands and seeking to destroy our precious environment.”