Group voice rainforest concern

LENNOX Head Landcare is concerned Ballina Shire Council may ruin a remnant littoral rainforest patch on Pacific Parade to make way for its coastal pathway.

Malcolm Milner, from Lennox Head Landcare, said the group had committed a lot of time and energy to the rainforest patch in recent years.

“The council's vegetation management plan calls for the protection of that remnant by planting native plants behind it,” Mr Milner said.

“So, over the past five years, we've removed the bitou bush and we've almost finished the plantings.

“But now we're worried because this is the exact area where the council is planning to build its coastal pathway.

“The amount of clearing that will have to be done will remove a large part of our trees.”

Mr Milner said the Landcare group had asked the council to show it the plans before any more work was done.

He said council had removed trees more than 12 months ago that Lennox Head Landcare had worked at rejuvenating for 10 years.

Mr Milner said the group had been looking after the ‘natural areas' of Williams Reserve, at Lennox Head, by establishing a windbreak alongside an endangered ecological community of coastal cypress trees.

“But as part of the construction of the community centre, the council bulldozed 10 years of our work,” he said.

“It was done without consulting with us, or explaining what was happening.”

Mr Milner said the entire incident had made the group's members ‘very upset'.

He said the council submitted a supplementary development app-lication to obtain belated approval for clearing the trees.

“We've told the council that we are no longer going to care for Williams Reserve,” he said.

“Our focus will now be at Boulder Beach, Seven Mile Beach and Lake Ainsworth.”

The Northern Star's efforts yesterday to contact council's regulatory services director, Rod Willis, were unsuccessful.

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