Public opposition to Moonee development grows
ORGANISERS of Saturday's protest to protect South Moonee Forest say the event was a resounding success with over 300 people rallying to express their concern.
Spokesman for the Regional Alliance for Sustainable Planning (RASP), Mark Graham, said he was incredibly pleased and believed the spectacle created would help make the NSW Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, aware of the strong public opposition to the proposed 300 home Moonee Waters residential development.
"It is very hard to communicate with Minister Sartor he actively avoids contact with communities," Mr Graham said.
"Which is why we wanted to create this show of public opposition.
"South Moonee Forest is the single most ecologically significant area on the Coffs Coast. It is 120 hectares of uncleared land and is habitat for 21 threatened and eight endangered species.
"It is of extremely high conservation value, both environmentally and culturally, and we are calling for it to be declared a nature reserve."
Protesters began crossing the Moonee Creek Footbridge from 10.30 am.
From there they made their way up onto Green Bluff, where a human 'NO' was formed.
"Walking across the creek and onto the Bluff was a great way of connecting everyone with the area.
"And thanks to the support of local elder, Aunty Elaine Turnbull, we were able to approach the Bluff via a sacred site."
Mr Graham said opposition to the development had been ongoing for a number of years but public support now was important as the application was before the minister.
"The current planning laws have stripped people of the right to oppose or legally appeal planning decisions in New South Wales, so public protest is the only avenue possible," he said.