Letter to the Editor: What about our muttonbirds?

DEAR News Of The Area,

AFTER reading Ann Leonard’s great editorial in the opinion section of the NOTA edition on 5 April in relation to the Coffs Jetty Foreshore I would like to add to that editorial.

Ann mentioned the muttonbirds who travel thousand kilometres to breed on our Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve annually.

The amount of lighting presently down in and around the Jetty area is already disorientating a large number of the muttonbirds every breeding season.

At the recent opening of the Solitary Island lighthouse optic I believe organisers erected a shield to protect the muttonbirds from the light and to monitor the reaction of those muttonbirds on the island.

It must make you wonder about the lighting situation with 450 new units to be erected on the Jetty Foreshores land.
The lights will consist of street lighting, individual unit lights, unit parking lights, security lighting and the lights from vehicle movements of the unit owners, restaurant patrons and workers.

The poor old muttonbirds!

Who is going to take the responsibility of looking after all those poor muttonbirds?

When all they really want is a good night’s sleep looking after their young.

What sort of a shield has the State Government designed that will protect the muttonbirds during their breeding season?

Maybe Gurmesh could let the community know, I am sure he would be on top of that.

I hope they have a good plan.

A very regular user of our beautiful Jetty Foreshore.

2 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: What about our muttonbirds?

  1. To the Editor,

    Recently I received an email from Property and Development N.S.W. regarding the proposed Jetty Foreshore development. On perusing this email two things stood out. There were no less than 18 mentions of “community” in the email but only one throw away line regarding “housing” with no mention of the 450 intended properties. Interesting….As well, it appears the proposed redevelopment has been renamed. It is no longer a redevelopment but a “revitalisation”.

    There has been much reinforcement from various entities regarding “extensive community consultation,” “community engagement,” “the will of the community,” “what the community wants,” “community led”, and “overwhelming community support”. Indeed, in every official press release I read there is much repetition of every iteration of “community” regarding how we in Coffs are simply waiting in breathless anticipation for construction to begin on the multistoried residential development which will be the ruination of our Foreshore.

    As a former community development worker/welfare worker, “community led” means a resident (or a group of residents) from the Coffs Harbour area coming forward with a suggestion to the relevant authority, be they state or local, regarding what they think would be of benefit (be it a playground/community centre/childcare facility etc) to Coffs Harbour residents. As far as I am aware, this has not occurred. Has anyone in “the community” of Coffs Harbour suggested to anyone in authority “Let’s “revitalize” the Jetty Foreshore?” The suggestion to “revitalise” the Foreshore has been state government and developer led and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. The enthusiasm and speed with which the “revitalisation” is being pushed raises questions as to why the Minns government is so keen on what is clearly a disastrous project.

    Some time ago I completed the multi choice questions in the Community Consultation Form and duly sent it on. The questions were obviously constructed to give the required answer, being neither transparent nor straightforward. Such ploys are typical of a bureaucracy needing to achieve its desired outcome.

    Prior to the last election in March, 2023 NSW Labor gave a firm commitment to voters to halt the proposed residential development at the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores. However by August, only five months after their election victory, the Minns government “backflipped” on its promise. In short, this promise to Coffs voters seems a deliberate, cynical and blatant lie designed to capture votes.

    Earlier this year I wrote to the Premier and Minister Kamper questioning why, after going to an election promising to retain the Jetty Foreshore as it is, the Minns government has now backflipped on its promise. I received a response from Vy Nguyen, Executive Director, Precinct Development, Property and Development NSW, who gave me the usual spiel, (again straight out of “Developers’ Handbook 101”). She also stated that “Property and Development NSW is working collaboratively with the City of Coffs Harbour.” Really? You think? And yet, unsurprisingly, Ms. Nguyen failed to answer my question as to why the Minns government has reneged on their promise made before the election.

    As a relatively recent resident of Coffs Harbour (who has spent a number of years overseas) I am aghast that anyone, particularly our local National Party representative, Mr. Gurmesh Singh, (who should be protecting such an asset for the enjoyment and benefit of all of Coffs Harbour, rather than enthusiastically supporting such an appalling initiative) would think that the redevelopment of the Jetty Foreshore is a good idea. I’ve seen what overdevelopment can do to previously beautiful natural areas. Big money comes in and cleans up to the detriment and amenity of local residents.

    People, do you not realize what a precious gem you have in the Foreshore just as it is, and any form of residential development in that area is simply environmental vandalism.

    Trish de Visser

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