'On behalf of the West Pennant Hills Valley Progress Association, I urge all Councillors to reject this Planning Proposal.
Spot rezoning is inconsistent with Council’s Strategic Plan.
Reducing our tree canopy is inconsistent with Council’s Strategic Plan.
The State Government is currently considering turning Cumberland State Forest into a National Park. It is inappropriate to support rezoning and selling-off parts of the forest before a decision about transferring it to National Park status has been made.
The argument that the proposal only affects land that is currently not accessible to the public is irrelevant. If the land is rezoned and sold for development, the public will never have access. But if Cumberland State Forest becomes a National Park, the public could have access to this land.
There is a suggestion that funds from the sale could be used to benefit Cumberland State Forest. But it is just a suggestion. There is no certainty that the funds will be used in this way. There is no certainty that the funds will be used to benefit the environment anywhere in NSW.
The proposed rezoning requires the removal of:
0.16ha of Blue Gum High Forest
0.29ha of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest
That’s a total of 0.45ha.
Both Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest are listed as Critically Endangered Ecological Communities (CEEC) under the NSW Government Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
The only category worse than ‘Critically Endangered’ is ‘Extinction’
When the planning proposal for 55 Coonara Avenue was considered by DPIE last year, the proponent had to reduce the development footprint in order to avoid clearing Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest.
If DPIE wouldn’t allow Mirvac to clear CEEC on private land, we question why Council would consider allowing CEEC to be cleared on a chunk of the Cumberland State Forest.
Cumberland State Forest is already a very small forest. Let’s not make it any smaller.
The CEEC trees only need to be cleared if the land is rezoned. Please save these critically endangered trees by saying no to this proposal.
Thank you on behalf of the residents of West Pennant Hills Valley.'