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.