Designs on our coast?
By Heather Tindale (Published in the Coastal Sun 17 January 2002)
The state government appears to have totally ignored their objectives in the ‘Design Guidelines for the NSW Coast’, by declaring that the Nature Coast is an appropriate place for a charcoal factory. Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning, Dr. Andrew Refshauge was very emphatic when he released paper, “We need to protect the qualities that make our coast attractive and prevent them from being eroded by poor development. “In consultation with the community, we want to ensure we value and protect the unique characteristics of each place along our coast.”
The guidelines will play a key role in influencing the liveability and sustainability of communities – factors such as clean air, clean water and a healthy natural environment.
The paper is one of the building blocks in the process for protection of the NSW coast and follows the introduction of the NSW Coastal Policy in 1997 and the Coastal Protection Package in 2001.
Professor Bruce Thom, Chair of the Coastal Council says, “There is a danger that the beauty of the coast will be destroyed by controls that do not respond to the characteristics of place, responding instead to the immediate demands of proposals on individual lots with little regard for the impact on the settlement of the surrounding areas.”
President of Charcoalition, Chris Kowal thinks the timing of the release of the guidelines is ironic.
“The charcoal factory proposal certainly shows little regard for the impact on nearby settlements and the surrounding area. It would not help maintain clean air, clean water or a healthy natural environment.”
Local resident Col Brown was amazed by the design guidelines. “The state government appears to be incredibly hypocritical.
“On the one hand they say we want to preserve and protect the coast and on the other they plonk a dirty great charcoal factory in the middle of it. “Do they have designs for our coast or designs on our coast?”