* Ecological Assessment & Advice

Ballina Shire Council
Ballina LGA

In 2012, the NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure initiated a review of the application of Environmental Zones (E Zones) and overlays in Local Environmental Plans on the Far North Coast of NSW. Amongst the implications arising from this review was the deferral of proposed land use zonings in some areas.

We were appointed to undertake ecological assessments and provide advice pursuant to informing required aspects of proposed E2 and E3 landuse zonings as outlined in the Final Recommendations Report of the NSW Government's Northern Councils E Zone Review. Working with Ballina Council planners, the intent was to apply a progressive and well-informed approach to the task.

Outputs from this project were extensive and included the provision of GIS files for each of five Deferred Areas, indicating the location of irreplaceable biodiversity assets including Endangered Ecological Communities, SEPP14 Coastal Wetlands, SEPP26 Littoral Rainforests, over-cleared vegetation types and threatened flora and fauna species. The extensive network of waterways was further classified with information presented on the degree of riparian buffering. Each of the five Deferred Areas was found to support areas of remnant native vegetation meeting both E2 and E3 criteria, as specified by NSWDPE (2015).