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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Will Councillors be hoodwinked to adopt flawed Coastal Management Plan for Dalmeny

In an open letter to Eurobodalla Councillors ahead of their council meeting of Tuesday October 25th 2022 Deb Stevenson of the group A Better Eurobodalla has asked each and all of them to carefully consider their vote to support the staff recommendation: THAT Council: 1. Adopt the draft Moruya River, Mummaga Lake and Wagonga Inlet Estuarine Coastal Management Program 2. Forward the adopted Moruya River, Mummaga Lake and Wagonga Inlet Estuarine Coastal Management Program to the NSW Minister for Local Government for certification Along with the letter written by the group Dalmeny Matters the councillors are being advised that the draft Moruya River, Mummaga Lake and Wagonga Inlet Estuarine Coastal Management Program (ECMP is flawed whilst also advising that there are major issues that the staff have failed to address in the document, even following solid submissions from the community.

Deb Stevenson of the group A Better Eurobodalla writes: "This draft ECMP is due to come before you for approval at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

"I urge you not to approve this draft in its current form and instead request that it is reviewed and amended so that the levels of protection provided to Mummaga Lake have been strengthened in light of the large land release and associated development planned for its catchment which will significantly impact on this sensitive area.

"The draft ECMP makes it quite clear that the impacts on water quality from runoff in the catchment of Mummaga Lake are not well understood. It notes that large developments in the catchment of other estuarine lakes have been responsible for the destruction of important ecosystems that support both recreational and nature-based activities. It therefore recommends that urban development around these lakes be approached with care to ensure that adequate measures are put in place at an early stage to protect water quality. "This cannot be addressed by a Development Control Plan, which applies to individual lots in a subdivision post development, but must be dealt with at a more strategic level early on in the design and layout of the subdivision itself to ensure that sensitive estuarine systems like Mummaga Lake are not compromised by over-development.

"A key objective of the draft ECMP is to identify land for public acquisition and protection to avoid the impacts of development on the catchments of estuarine lakes. This needs to be explored in more detail with respect to Mummaga Lake and the large land release area within its catchment. What offsets would be required in order to avoid impacts on Mummaga Lake from this large development? The draft ECMP is completely silent in this regard. No land is identified for public acquisition". "The draft ECMP makes provision for wetland restoration and the development of specific Environment Protection Plans for the Moruya River and Wagonga Inlet, but there are no comparable protections for Mummaga Lake. Does this reflect Council’s failure to even acknowledge the large development proposed for the Mummaga Lake catchment in the initial draft of the ECMP?

"Overall the draft ECMP downplays the risks of development in the catchment of estuarine systems such as Mummaga Lake and as a result the associated actions to protect these sensitive systems are vague and ineffectual.

"As our population grows we need to make sure that associated development does not compromise the stunning natural assets that attract people to this area. The future of our beautiful ‘Nature Coast’ is in your hands - don’t let your community down".

There will be one presenter to Public Forum tomorrow, October 25th 2022, to present on the ECMP. It is hoped that Councillor Anthony Mayne might advise the newer councillors of the process that appeared to many in the community as a manipulation of the councillors during the last term that had them vote on the sale of the land before the somewhat wanting ECMP was presented for their consideration the following Council meeting. Many in the community, including past councillors, believe that had the councillors been made aware of the inadequacies and failures of the ECMP to recognise and address key issues around any development, such as the newly created Dalmeny estate, then the Councillors might well have baulked at their decision to sell the Council owned land. The decision to adopt the staff's recommendation will be an interesting point to discover the grit of the new councillors and to determine if they are easily manipulated by staff double-speak, as has been the case on this issue in a previous term.

Above: Will the Main Event see Councillors take on staff and send them back to the drawing board to rewrite a flawed Moruya River, Mummaga Lake and Wagonga Inlet Estuarine Coastal Management Program?

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NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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