Garrett rejects council rezoning proposal

Boodoree National Park on the NSW south coast, home to threatened native species.
Boodoree National Park on the NSW south coast, home to threatened native species.

By Staff Writer

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has vetoed a council rezoning and development proposal near Jervis Bay, New South Wales, to protect native wildlife.

Shoalhaven City Council proposed to rezone up to 1200 allotments sold as rural land more than 20 years ago, known as Heritage Estates.

The rezoning and residential development proposal included public infrastructure works.

Under federal environmental law, the Minister rejected the proposal that would have had “unacceptable impacts” on threatened species within the nearby Booderee National Park.

“If this development were to go ahead it would have isolated Booderee National Park from important wildlife corridors that are critical to the survival of nationally protected plants and animals in the park and surrounding areas,” Garrett said.

“These include the endangered eastern bristlebird, white-footed dunnart and the ground parrot.”

The Minister said he was aware that landowners had been led to believe they would be able to build on the land despite its rural zoning.

“I am sympathetic to many of the landowners affected by this decision and assure them that this has been a thorough and open process in which I’ve taken account of the formal scientific assessment, hundreds of public submissions and the expert advice of my department,” he said.

“I note that the consultant’s report prepared for and submitted by the council also recommended against the proposed rezoning on environmental grounds.”

He advised all property investors to exercise caution when purchasing rural land for residential development, particularly land that contained threatened wildlife.

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