Community torn over rezoning of North Hawks Nest land

Greens candidate Dheera Smith calls for a ‘Green Ban’ before Council elections

 

MIDCOAST Council are preparing their Draft Rural Strategy with potential for the land in North Hawks Nest to be considered for urban release.

In the July 28 MidCoast Council meeting, urban release and rezoning was approved for many areas around the region, including the land on the western side of Mungo Brush Road.

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The Council’s Draft Rural Strategy recommended, “That this area be nominated as one Urban Release Area to be rezoned in the Long Term (10+ years) provided lands on the western side of Mungo Brush Road are dedicated to National Parks & Wildlife Services as part of a trade-off for development potential on the eastern side of the road providing residential and environmental opportunities.”

This recommendation comes with the support of many community members who believe that others should share in the experience of living in Hawks Nest and supporting the local community.

However, Greens candidates Dheera Smith and Jessica Harris, who are running in the MidCoast Council elections in December, are calling for a different course of action.

“No decisions to develop our unique natural environment should be made before the December 4 MidCoast Council elections,” Dheera said.

“Huge tracts zoned long term residential years ago can’t be allowed to be fast tracked if we are going to halt the destruction of native habitat and the effects of land clearing on the climate,” Ms Smith said.

The party believes that “trade-offs and offsets are really sell outs to developers”, stating that a ‘Green Ban’ be put in place until after the Council elections take place.

MidCoast Councillors reported receiving high levels of support for the rezoning, with locals saying they felt “great faith and trust in moving forward” and thanking Councillors for “showing vision, motivation and a greater understanding for the need for this area to be opened up for the town of Hawks Nest to prosper” in anonymous letters of support.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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