Letter: Environment not council’s priority

Two items in the Port News lately have drawn my attention.

The first item was the public poll to find out what ratepayers expected of their future mayor and the running of our Council which rated “More transparency from council” 4th out of 11 concerns behind the perennial concern about roads etc.

Why would that be? Don’t ratepayers trust our Council?

Since April 2016 I have been a member of both the Council Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPoM) Committee and the Biodiversity Committee and during all that time I have worked constructively to help those committees achieve environmental policies to benefit our community.

As Council’s propaganda goes this is part of the PMHC “Your Voice Community Future Directions pmhclistening” blah blah.

During all that time nobody mentioned the Council’s progress in planning the Biocertification of approximately 400 ha of habitat adjoining the airport. You would think that item would have been top of the list in any of the meetings to which we gave our time.

No-one. Not the 5 or so staff who attended, not the Deputy Mayor in attendance.  None of them brought up the imminent removal of 100 ha of prime and secondary koala habitat. Not even the public member of the Committee whose name appears on the credits of the ECO logical Australia firm’s application for Biocertification said a word.

And just in case we on the Council Committee concerned about “Future Directions” accidentally found out about it there was a rider on the motion passed at the last meeting of the previous council that once the motion to proceed passed any representation from the Koala Committee would not be considered.

The second item in Port News that attracted my attention was the wonderfully clear warning by the ecologist, Keith Kendall, that destruction of key koala habitat is the main threat to our koalas. “Koala habitat is under threat” (Port News, July 6).

Kendall warns that removing koala habitat under offset schemes like BioBanking is not working and insists Council should complete its Local Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (which was required of NSW Councils more than twelve (12) years ago).

That will be a bit hard since Council apparently ensured the Committee did not know about Council’s plans for “Goodbye Koalas” nor make any recommendations to its “We’re Listening” Council, and has not had a meeting of that Committee since last August.

Trust our Council?

You gotta be bloody kidding.

John Jeayes,

Port Macquarie 

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