Enforceable Undertaking Follows Club’s Land Clearing

Filed under Environment & Pollution, Midcoast LGA, News ~ by Press on  12 Jul 2020

Black Head Bowling Club has entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment after a section of Crown land zoned environmental protection was cleared without consent of MidCoast Council.

The clearing occurred during November last year, after fires had been controlled approximately 1.2 kilometres away.

Council received a complaint from a member of the public on 13 November 2019. An investigation of the complaint found a small excavator, bobcat, tip truck with an industrial wood chipper attached and six people packing up equipment after vegetation had been cleared on Crown land adjoining the bowling club.

The clearing also affected the public access walkway known as the “Rainforest Walk”.

The undertaking says the club has accepted responsibility for the clearing of native vegetation covering an area of approximately 600 square metres of Crown Land under the management of Council, next to the club.

The cleared vegetation was identified as ‘littoral rainforest’ and ‘littoral rainforest proximity area’ and protected under the State Environment Planning Policy – Coastal Management.

As outlined in the undertaking, the club had previously made several enquiries to MidCoast Council and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in relation to the removal of vegetation and had been advised consent was required.

As a result of Council’s investigation the Bowling Club has accepted responsibility for the clearing and has acknowledged it may have amounted to a contravention of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

To rectify the impacts of the unlawful clearing, the club has entered into an enforceable undertaking to pay Council a total of $25,000, at a rate of $5,000 per year to fund the preparation and implementation of a plan of management for the littoral rainforest in the area damaged.

This plan of management will include remediation of the area and improvements to the rainforest walk, including informative signage and a drinking water station. Funds will also be spent on maintenance of the walk to both improve safety and protect the environment. The plan will also include active management by Council of vegetation located in close proximity to the boundary of Bowling Club to minimise adverse impacts and risk to the clubs assets and visitors.

The undertaking is available in full on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s website at www.planning.nsw.gov.au

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