E Zones continue to divide council

THE most heated discussion at last Tuesday's council meeting was the decision of the State Government to remove E Zones over agricultural land in the Lismore Local Environment Plan (LEP) draft.

The debate went down to an exercise on who was supportive or against farmers in the local government area.

E Zones, also known as environment protection zones, are an instrument for local environmental plans (LEPs) to use specifically for land where the primary focus is the conservation and/or management of environmental values. The zones provide for varying levels of environmental protection from E1 to E4.

NSW Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard angered Lismore Council by removing the E Zones from the Lismore LEP draft.

The issue was raised at last Tuesday's council meeting by Cr Neil Marks, who presented a motion to congratulate minister Hazzard.

Cr Simon Clough presented his own motion, opposite to the Cr Mark's, expressing "deep concern" regarding the matter.

Cr Mark's motion was not carried by the council.

Cr Clough remembered that the council voted to maintain E Zones in the LEP draft in a vote completed last May.

The council undertook community consultation of its draft LEP for six months between 2010 and early 2012.

At the end of that process, 10 landholders objected to the application of E Zones to their properties.

Cr Bennet detailed that the process would include "no consultation, no permission sought and no compensation for those affected".

Cr Clough's motion was supported by the council in a divided vote.


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