Clearing probe continues
ALLEGATIONS of illegal land clearing near Evans Head are still being investigated by the Coffs Harbour Office of Environment and Heritage.
About 10ha of riverbank land upstream of the Iron Gates was cleared during May, at the same time as several more hectares were cleared around the Iron Gates homestead and adjacent to previous subdivision works that were halted by the Land and Environment Court in 1997.
At the time, breaches of the development consent were found to be so serious that the consent was rendered null and void.
In a landmark judgement, the court ordered a full restoration of the site upon which substantial works had been done.
The clearing of the riverbank land was done with a large dozer, which pushed over mature paperbark and sally wattle trees 15m high.
The clearing also encroached on mangrove swamp.
Office of Environment and Heritage spokesman Lawrence Orel said he could not predict the outcome of the investigation. "We can't speculate," he said.