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‘Coastal Residents United’ Launched: New Alliance of Community Groups Fighting Inappropriate Development

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
24 August 2023

Representatives from dozens of community groups campaigning to defend small coastal towns and pockets of sensitive and endangered coastal bushland from inappropriate development launched a new alliance today at the NSW Parliament. 

The alliance, Coastal Residents United, also presented petitions gathered from community groups Dalmeny Matters, Friends of Coila, Voices of South West Rocks, Hallidays Point Community Action Group and Save Myall Bushland Incorporated, all containing over 600 signatures, calling for a moratorium on developments that these groups are fighting. The petitions were tabled in the Upper House today.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann, who released the report Concreting Our Coast: The developer onslaught destroying our coastal villages and environment last year following a coastal fact-finding tour, said: 

“Last year, dozens of communities fighting large, inappropriate developments in their small towns contacted me crying out for help. What I found was an onslaught of development planned that would destroy coastal NSW as we all know, and love it”, said Ms Faehrmann. 

“Many of the opposed developments are so-called ‘zombie’ developments. Approved decades ago, they’ve avoided any of the environmental, cultural and other impact assessments that would be required today. Many are planned for areas prone to floods and fires with just one road in or out in an emergency and in towns that already do not have access to critical services and infrastructure.

“Combined, these campaigns add up to potentially thousands of hectares of bushland lost along our precious coast. Much of it is habitat for threatened species on the brink of extinction that cannot withstand any further loss of habitat. 

“I’m proud to stand with community representatives today to launch Coastal Residents United - a powerful alliance of groups sharing information, resources and strategies to ensure developers cannot get away with destroying our precious coastal environment,” said Ms Faehrmann. 

Greens MP and planning and environment spokesperson Sue Higginson said:

“Our planning system is not fit for purpose and it is putting developers profits above local communities, their safety and our fragile coastal environments. Communities up and down the coast of NSW are fighting inappropriate developments as the impacts of the climate and biodiversity crises worsen. The planning system is not working and developers are taking advantage of it,” said Sue Higginson.

“The petitions tabled in the NSW Parliament today are just some of the many communities on the frontline of a broken planning system who are taking on property developers in the name of protecting the environment and keeping communities safe. 

“For too long the planning system has been controlled and influenced by private developers and their profits. Local communities need to be at the centre of decisions that affect them and their local environments and they need a system that protects our natural environment and addresses the worsening impacts of fires, floods and climate change. 

“It is brilliant that the community groups who are part of Coastal Residents United have mobilised and are working collaboratively for change and have brought this important issue to Parliament.” Ms Higginson said. 

  • Dalmeny Matters – 605 signatures
  • Friends of Coila – 616 signatures
  • Voices of South West Rocks – 1156 signatures
  • Hallidays Point Community Action Group – 647 signatures
  • Save Myall Bushland Incorporated, Lake Macquarie – 535 Signatures

Some of the community groups fighting inappropriate development include:

  • Bonny Hills Progress Association
  • Broulee Mossy Point Community Association
  • Burradise - Don’t go changin’
  • Byron Bay Vision
  • Byron Residents’ Group
  • Callala Environmental Alliance
  • Chinderah District Residents Association Inc
  • Clarence Environment Centre
  • Clearency Valley Conservation Coalition
  • Clarence Valley Watch Inc
  • Concerned Citizens of Harrington
  • Culburra Residents and Ratepayers Action Group
  • Dalmeny Matters
  • Friends of CRUNCH
  • Hallidays Point Community Action Group
  • Iluka DA Have Your Say
  • Keep Yamba Country
  • Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Inc
  • Lake Wollumboola Protection Association
  • Manyana Matters
  • Our Future Shoalhaven
  • Protect Coila Lake’s fragile ecosystem
  • Red Rock Preservation Society
  • Red Rock Village Community Association
  • Save Callala Beach
  • Stop the Fill Yamba
  • Tumbulgum Community Association Inc
  • Tura Beach Biodiversity Group
  • Tuross Head Progress Association
  • Valla Beach Community Association
  • Valley Watch - Yamba
  • Voices of South West Rocks
  • Yamba Community Action Network
  • Save Myall Road Bushland
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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
24 August 2023
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