Environmental vandalism triggers Council action
NewslenyMon, 05/12/2016 - 10:15am
Serious environmental damage to the iconic Fame Cove/North Arm Cove waterfront site in Port Stephens has prompted Mid Coast Council to slap a stop work order on owner and developer Mr Dong Fang Lee and his company Tea Garden Farms*.
The most recent assault on the site is a new, unapproved road that runs like a huge scar from the waterfront, up Fame Mountain to the summit and then beyond towards Piggy’s Beach, adjacent to Port Stephens marine park and a section of Myall Lakes National Park.
No attempt was made to control erosion or subsequent siltation of the marine park and waterways of Port Stephens. As well it is a blight on the coastal landscape as it is clearly visible from the entry to Fame Cove and so from the shoreline of Port Stephens.
Recent site inspections by Council officers left them appalled not only by this environmental outrage but by the prolific devastation that has resulted from work being carried out without permit or consultation. The inspections were prompted, in part, by complaints from the North Arm Cove Residents Association.
Mr Len Yearsley, the association’s vice president, pointed out that the developer has previously incurred fines and costs in excess of $250,000 for major environmental breaches on this site. “Because of its high conservation value, including its 6 km of pristine waterfront, the site has been subject to detailed ecological and environmental reports by Council,” he added.
MCC Planning Director Lisa Schiff indicated at a recent Community Update Meeting that Council is seeking legal advice to bring action against the developer to stop unauthorized and excessive works, which exceed the authority of Development Applications issued by Council.
The North Arm Cove Residents Association has brought this devastation to the attention of the Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mark Speakman, and the Minister for Primary Industries Land and Water, Niall Blair, along with their relevant departments. We have called on them urgently to use all the authority available to assist Mid Coast Council in carrying out prosecution of these apparent criminal
* Tea Gardens Farms is now known as LDF ENTERPRISE PTY LTD