EcoNetwork’s affiliate group, Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association (TRRA) is asking for anyone with some time to spare to consider joining their planning team.
With the huge number of local issues, they are across most of them but research, analysis and drafting submissions are time-consuming and some extra assistance is always needed.
Here are some upcoming documents to warrant attention:
Waste Management Strategy – on exhibition until 22 September. This includes consideration of a third green bin for organic waste. This is complicated by the uncertain future of Council’s existing composting facility due to EPA controls. Consultation process to date has been good – this is an important strategy and deserves attention. See Port Stephens Council – Public Exhibitions and an article in the Port Stephens Examiner.
Hunter Water : Draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan – on exhibition until 19 September. From our initial review, this seems a good plan, and has effectively recommended against the very controversial option of new dams, including at Limeburners Creek/Karuah River. See Hunter Water’s Planning our water future.
Place Planning – You may have already read about Council’s Place Plan initiative and we encourage you to volunteer to participate in the workshops – currently ‘open’ for Shoal Bay, Medowie and the Rural West.
TRRA has raised some concerns with Council about the process, and asked what other opportunities there will be for community input other than from people they hand-pick for these workshops. The more people who volunteer for them the better the chance they will get a representative range of views.
See Port Stephens Council’s Planning for your place.
Please email Nigel Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more information or are available to write or research content for these or future submissions.
Recent submissions completed
These can be found in the submissions section of the EcoNetwork website.
Kings Hill a ‘new town’ NE of Raymond Terrace. This project – for more than 200 new houses over 20+ years with associated roads, schools, shops and other infrastructure, is still under consideration by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). This is within an Area of Regional Koala Significance. Surveys have confirmed that Kings Hill area contains prime koala habitat with an active, healthy koala population.
The developer proposes to clear large areas of high quality wildlife habitat but to set aside, fence and ‘enrich’ 230 ha of Conservation Area, mostly on higher ground with poor quality habitat.
Council recently exhibited a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) under which the developer would spend $3.5 million on ‘habitat enrichment’ and then pay Council another $3 million for ongoing maintenance over 40 years – on top of more than $90 million in infrastructure contributions over the lifetime of the project.
Several local groups have made submissions commenting on the VPA, including that it is premature until the JRPP makes a decision on the Concept DA and until the outcome of the koala uplisting assessment by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.
Several local groups, including the new Koala Koalition EcoNetwork Port Stephens, made submissions on the detailed plans for the M1 extension from Taro to Raymond Terrace.
The case was made for acquiring and protecting koala habitat and wildlife corridors at Raymond Terrace to replace the 50ha that will be lost at Heatherbrae.
Details of the project including excellent interactive graphics.