Jetty Action Group speaks up
The following is an opinion piece from the Jetty Action Group which feels it and Jetty Dunecare are being unfairly targeted in the ongoing debate about the future of the city's foreshores and views. It is printed in the spirit of providing a balance of views on the subject.
IT'S easy to form the impression with the Jetty foreshores that there's a kangaroo court going on.
The hard-working and long-serving volunteers of Jetty Dunecare feel they are in the dock and being framed for holding back the development of the whole of the Coffs City Council LGA.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The responsibility for planning and implementation of all works at the Jetty rests with the Department of Lands and Coffs City Council. To guide them, there is a Crown Lands Act and a Jetty Foreshores Plan of Management.
The 2008 revision of the Plan of Management carried forward a commitment dating back to 2000 to the following strategy to address the objective to minimise disturbance of native vegetation:
"Development of an Integrated Recreation, Landscape and Vegetation Management Plan."
For 12 years council has sat on its hands and refused to implement the statutory requirement which would provide a framework for informed community participation and, if undertaken properly, avoid the current kangaroo court.
Such a planning process would reveal that the majority of the foreshore vegetation is an endangered ecological community under both state and federal legislation. It would also reveal that the broad statutory objective is to recover endangered communities by means including restoration and replanting beyond their current extent.
Littoral Rainforest covers 0.4% of the remaining vegetation of Coffs Harbour City Council. We recently lost 4ha with the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway upgrade. More is threatened with clearance adjacent to at Beacon Hill and along Victoria St, and at the Jetty foreshores to provide access to sewage mains.
Whilst Littoral Rainforest grows close to the sea, it requires localised protection. Even the opening up of sightlines or pathways or boardwalks could expose significant areas to dieback.
Jetty Action Group
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