Coal Seam Gas & rezoning
In 1994 following a Commission of Enquiry, the Hacking River catchment of the Helensburgh, Otford and Stanwell Tops area was awarded a special new zoning of '7D' to give the buffer bushland and tributary waters to the Royal National Park the next highest conservation zoning to National Park 1A.
The 7D zoning remained in place, until 2006 NSW planning legislation changed the zoning codes and Wollongong Council launched a new Draft LEP (Local Environment Plan). The agreed 7D zoning equivalent was E2 (national park is E1). However, when Wollongong Council went into Administration in early 2008, the draft LEP and its high conservation zoning for the bushland of the Helensburgh region was withdrawn. When the next draft LEP 2009 for Helensburgh region was presented, 7D now equaled E3 - suddenly allowing land clearing and more development on conservation land.
Researching into the government department submissions on the DLEP revealed that the Department of Primary Industries had requested Wollongong City Council C to downgrade the E2 land zonings, in particular water catchment land (SCA) to E3 to facilitate the infastructure for coal seam gas exploration & extraction.
A csg fired power station, gas bore holes and pipeline had been planned for the '2508' postcode region. All with the blessing and assistance of the NSW Dep Primary Industries and Dep of Planning.
With absolute minimal public consultation and investigation into the environmental impact, plans were in place to explore and eventually commercially extract coal seam gas from Helensburgh down the Illawarra escarpment.
To ensure that coal seam gas exploration and extraction is inhibited on our Illawarra escarpment , bushland buffering the Royal National Park and drinking water catchment lands, the E2 zoning must replace the former '7D' zoned lands and not be downgraded to E3, lower or industrial. Please consider having your say via the submission form below.
Att: Wollongong City Council
Locked Bag 8821,
WOLLONGONG DC NSW 2500
Re: Planning Proposal '7D' land rezoning - csg & all bushland precincts
To ensure that coal seam gas exploration and extraction is inhibited on our Illawarra escarpment , bushland buffering the Royal National Park and drinking water catchment lands, the E2 zoning must replace the former '7D' zoned lands and not be downgraded to E3, lower or industrial.