Something to hide: coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests along South Ballina Beach, NSW

Summary. This study mapped coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests on the South Ballina peninsula, New South Wales. It was estimated that at least 173 Ha of coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests are missing from the State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 Coastal Wetlands and Littoral Rainforests Area Map. Recognising that State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 can impose additional development controls on coastal land that can negatively affect development potential and land values, as well as facilitate merits appeals against development consents, concerns are raised about the motivation for Ballina Shire Council and the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to apparently ignore coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests in the southern half of Ballina Shire.

Council’s response. Council responded in October 2019 that SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands) applied for the Lake Ainsworth foreshore redevelopment and was considered in the assessment.

The State Government’s response. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment responded in December 2019 that the missing wetlands and littoral rainforests areas were not identified by SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands), SEPP 26 (Littoral Rainforests), subsequent updates or by Council. The Department indicated that it will continue to work with Council to improve the Coastal Wetlands and Littoral Rainforests Area Map.

Download the report: SEPP_CM_1_CDNInc191005v3

Download the shapefiles: SBwetlands_v1_190814

Fig 1 wordpress
The coloured areas along the beach front are unrecognised coastal wetlands and littoral rainforest areas.

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