Fame Cove owner back in the news


dougkSunday, 4 February 2018 - 6:49pm

Just before Christmas 2017, concerns were raised about a canal - up to 16 kilometres long - being carved out of the 2400+ hectare former Australian Pine Plantation property off Viney Creek Road East. In an article posted today (Sunday 4 Feb) on the SMH website, Domain journalist Lucy Macken reports on a stop-work order being issued to the owner Phillip Lee. Of course this is not the first stop-work order to be issued to Mr Lee.

Residents of the villages of Bundabah, Pindimar and North Arm Cove supported by other nearby communities had voiced strong objections in 2017 to Mr Lee's proposal for a private quarry a few hundred metres south of Bundabah village.  Residents were also concerned at other activities on the Fame Cove properties, including unapproved clearing and massive road construction, which were polluting adjacent waterways and threatening marine sanctuaries. Following intervention by Council and several government departments, Court Orders were issued requiring Mr Lee's company, Tea Garden Farms, to take extensive remedial action.

Representatives from the three villages have been meeting on a monthly basis with a consultant appointed by Mr Lee. The consultant has reported on the procedures and practices being introduced to ensure all action on the Fame Cove properties keeps within the law and regulations. He has outlined the steps being taken to meet the strict conditions of the Court Orders. These initiatives were reassuring. We were hopeful that future developments on the site would be sympathetic to the environment and the well-being of the neighbouring communities.

Yet, after all the negative publicity and losing the legal battle on the Fame Cove matter, there is now some despair to find that Mr Lee is once again at odds with local Council, government departments and the nearby communities. How can we now have confidence that he will continue to meet his obligations regarding Fame Cove?

When the Pine Plantation site was advertised for sale, the advertising blurb told us of "the limitless water supply offered by the aquifer beneath the property" and that the "pristine Myall River flows around and through the property". Both the "limitless" aquifer and river of course extend beyond the property boundaries. They are an asset for now and into the future. Their integrity should not be compromised.


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