Town’s beloved pine trees face ‘death by 1000 cuts’
Issues concerning a North Coast holiday park that is currently subject to a court appeal have been raised before Byron Shire Council.
Reflections Holiday Parks Terrace Reserve has brought proceedings against the council in the Land and Environment Court because an activity application for the operation of the Brunswick Heads park has not been approved.
Those proceedings are ongoing, but an item relating to the activity application went before the council’s meeting on Thursday.
The council’s staff recommended the application be refused because the proposed activity “is likely to have a serious and irreversible impact on the coastal cypress pine forest endangered ecological community located in the southern precinct of the holiday park” and is therefore “inconsistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development”.
During Public Access, Brunswick Heads Progress Association representative John Dunn said the cypress pines were facing “death by 1000 cuts”.
“The association asks that council not endorse this application,” Mr Dunn said.
The application seeks approval for the use of 174 sites, at the existing holiday park.
The council considered a similar application in September 2018 but resolved to impose a condition that there would be no further use of the southern area in the vicinity of the coastal cypress pines, and all existing infrastructure was to be removed from that area “where it is deemed to be a safe option”, except the amenities.
But the undetermined application again seeks approval for the use of that area.
In the report that went before the council this week, planner Ben Grant said “adverse impacts” on the pines were a significant factor.
“The holiday park has degraded the (cypress pine population) in the Southern Precinct over several decades and these effects are likely to continue into the future unless ameliorative actions are taken,” he said.
“Council’s Natural Resource Planner noted that due to the rarity and extremely restricted distribution of the (cypress pines), any further loss of occurrence or reduction in its extent within the reserve should be regarded as a serious and irreversible impact on the environment.”
Reflections has been approached for comment.