Today saw a heartfelt, exasperated and despondent presentation to Eurobodalla Councillors by Ross Hayward, President of the Broulee Mossy Point Community Association in regards to the clear felling of 7000m2 of what was to be public reserve and a natural vegetative corridor in the new subdivision in Broulee. Councillors had been each provided the map and the images below. Submission to ESC Public Forum 24 October 2017
The character of Broulee is very much shaped by its beaches and Bangalay gums in the older established area of the village.
The Broulee Mossy Point community were dismayed and upset at the absence of character that clear felling was having on subdivisions in the Broulee Beach Estate development.
Their objections to further similar development were confirmed by the NSW Planning Minister requiring significant changes to the initial Gateway proposal.
At the end of a long arduous process to reach the present stage the community were given assurances that the westward extension of the Public Reserve between Woolabar Dr. and Gillan Grove would maintain the native forest. This would provide a north -south separation of the 240 house lots in the south west corner of the development.
Well,……contrary to assurances the western extension of this reserve has now been clear felled within the Broulee Beach Estate – almost 7,000 sqm.
Those within the community who are aware of this are shocked and upset at this about-face. I’m sure anger will follow.
I feel it necessary to bring this situation to Councillors attention
The flaw in the current thinking is that 100% of buyers want 100% of all trees cleared. Association members living in the new subdivisions demonstrate that this a flawed argument.
Above: the location of the photos - By rights there should be a corridor of trees leading away to the west in photo 2. But that corridor that was to be a buffer beteen one section of the subdivision and the other has been CLEAR FELLED
Above: Photo number 2 should actually look similar to the treed corridor in the photo below taken from Point #1. Instead it has been decimated. It is meant to be a 40m wide reseerve from the fence to the tree line. In the foreground is the uncontrolled clearing of reserve on previous subdivision
Above: from Point #3 Western boundary to Broulee Road behind treeline and below is the existing vegetation at the western boundary of the reserve.
Options for consideration
Do nothing – a courageous decision with long-term consequences.
Replant – The history of large species trees planted in public areas in the Broulee sand-plain have failed miserably due to insufficient resources allocated to their long term survival.
Negotiate the dedication of an equal area of undisturbed native forest nearby within Broulee Beach Estate.
The community must be informed how this disaster has occurred.
Council’s response to this will affect the community’s trust and attitude to future development applications.
My preliminary inquiry as to the cause of this disaster has so far drawn a blank.
President Editors Note: Mr Hayward advised Councillors that in the first Gateway proposal for the subdivision a submission was made by the Broulee Mossy Point Community Association. When the Gateway signoffs came back from the Minister he had indicated clearly what he wanted changed. In those directives he was very clear about the retention of vegetation. Mr Hayward advised Council simply replanting was nt an option as it was sand based forest and the vegetation that was cleared had evolved over hundreds of years into the ecosytem it was. Mr Hayward also advised the councillors that at the public public consultation meeting the public were vocal in their demands that the trees be left in the reserve and that this was understood by the community to have been agreed to. While the subdivision is not yet legally defined by a deposited plan and as such the reserves not dedicated this is a moot point in that the areas have been clearly defined, clearly mapped, and clearly identified as intended for reserve. Had the plans been lodged and signed this clearing action would have have seen considerable repercussions for those who destroyed native vegetation within a public reserve. There is, it seems little if anything anyone can do however Mr Hayward's presentation showed to those in the gallery the general disinterest by most of the councillors to the devastation being reported and a total lack of comprehension that Council's credibility as being administrators of subdivisions to ensure compliance was now in tatters and that any trust the Broulee community might have had for council was gone. Councillor Constable was set to call Planning Director Lindsay Usher to "the stand" to explain the situation but was advised that this was Public Access and as such Mr Usher would not be taking questions.