In a report this weekend ABC South East NSW journalists Peta Doherty and Simon Lauder visit the pristine waters of the Clyde River and see for themselves Sydney rock oysters that are so clean you can eat them fresh out of the water. Their investigation however reveals that there are fears the distinctive taste could be lost under new environmental planning regulations being considered by a south coast council. "Council has signed off on it, the NSW Minister has signed off on it, and as soon as it comes back to council, if the majority of councillors agree, it will be done." Mayor Liz Innes Read the excellent article by ABC South East NSW reporters Peta Doherty and Simon Lauder HERE:
PHOTO: Oyster grower Kevin McAsh out on the water in the Clyde River harvest area. (ABC News: Peta Doherty)
LISTEN: Council planning may threaten oyster industry, warns Fisheries By Peta Doherty on ABC AM Duration: 3min 4sec Broadcast: Sat 4 Aug 2018, 8:24am. All rights remain with ABC.
What is becoming clear is that the community are learning that while the Mayor may have "heard it all before" in regards to hundreds of submissions and states that "there is nothing new" the Eurobodalla community are beginning to learn of the details of the proposal and read expert submissions that are raising alarms and heralding consequences.
There is an undercurrent building in the community to bring to a halt the fast tracking of the Rural Lands Strategy proposal which is due to be voted on at the end of August.
With informed community comments such as "We need to establish why they want to rush this through" and asking:
"Who exactly benefits from all of this?"
"Can we follow the money of why this is being pushed through?".
"Why is Council ignoring the submissions of the RFS, OEH and the DPI experts?"
"Why is a rural plan allowing subdivision of land next to the sea at Mossy Point?"
"Are the councillors on top of the 600 submissions made and do they understand what is being presented or are they just puppets with rubber stamps doing the Council's bidding?" "Is this another unintended and potentially devastating outcome from the government's relaxation of land clearing laws. Local farmers have convinced the Eurobodalla Council to loosen environmental regulations protecting wetlands and oyster farming in order to bring them in line with the new Biodiversity Act."
The key turning point that has bought on the ire of the community against the Council followed what many believe was an audacious comment by Mayor Innes who stated on local ABC South East NSW radio "Council has signed off on it, the NSW Minister has signed off on it, and as soon as it comes back to council, if the majority of councillors agree, it will be done". The Mayor Liz Innes might well be pre-empting the adoption of Council's Rural Lands Strategy anticipating her voting block to be 7 to 2 as revealed when it comes to divided issues.