Site has medium ecological value

RAINFOREST saplings on the Tallowood Ridge development site at Mullumbimby have been cut down in recent weeks, Byron Shire Council’s ecologist told the NSW Land and Environment Court yesterday.

Mark Robinson told Commissioner Robert Hussey he had noted the ‘beginnings of an endangered ecological community’ at a proposed road site when he did his first inspection.

“Unfortunately, some of these have been cut in the last week-and-a-half,” he said.

Mr Robinson said the area had the potential to be of ‘medium’ ecological value.

But the developer’s ecologist, Peter Parker, said the site in question was dominated by grassland, piles of rubbish, an old banana plantation and exotic trees.

“It is no better or worse than a typical urban garden in the local area,” he said.

Mr Parker also said any development at the 64-hectare site, including ‘shelter belts’, should not encourage wildlife such as koalas to what would be a ‘high impact’ area.

“Creating a koala habitat is better done in another area,” he said.

“There would be too many cars and too many dogs.”

The case went into its fifth day yesterday, and was moved to the Ballina Courthouse.

It is expected to be several more days before final submissions are presented to Commissioner Hussey.

Missing swimmer on north coast, search underway

HAZARDOUS SURF: Surf lifesavers are pleading with the public to stay out of the water this weekend after one of the biggest rescue days occurred on Saturday and swimmer is still missing on the north coast.

Hazardous surf warning and one swimmer missing

Ute and truck smash on highway

CRASH RESCUE: At 2am on Sunday the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called out to a crash involving a ute colliding with a truck on the Pacific motorway near Brunswick Heads.

Pacific Highway blocked after ute and truck smash

Ferry return to service delayed

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Service will not resume as expected

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