CEN has made the following submission to Central Coast Council regarding its recent exhibition of maps related to a proposed Conservation Agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) which should see the wetland protected permanently.
CEN has been advocating for the permanent protection of Porters Creek Wetland for the past 20 years. It is the Central Coast’s largest remaining freshwater wetland, a vital part of the Tuggerah Lakes catchment and a backup drinking water supply for the region during drought.
CEN wishes to state categorically that it supports a CA between Central Coast Council and the NSW Biodiversity Certification Trust (BCT) to facilitate the permanent protection of Porters Creek Wetland.
In fact, since October, we have written to the Central Coast Council’s Interim Administrator on two occasions urging him to complete the agreement which was ready for sign-off by the former CEO at the time of Mr Persson’s appointment.
Representatives of CEN met with Mr Persson in December 2020 to emphasise the importance of completing the CA.
Whilst CEN endorses the proposed CA we wish to make the following points related to the exhibited maps and the draft of the CA emailed to us during the exhibition period.
On page 8 of the Conservation Agreement, under the Schedule of Terms, the document lists the details of land and conservation areas.
CEN understands that the former Wyong Shire Council applied the E2 Environmental Conservation zone to land that either contained Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC) or to land zoned under the former 7(g) Wetland zone.
We therefore seek clarification of Council’s zoning map which indicates that E2 Environmental Conservation zone extends beyond the properties listed in the land schedule.
The area of wetland and/or EECs extends beyond the listed properties.
On that basis, CEN asks that Council clarifies whether the list of properties contained in the CA includes all parcels of land owned by Council around Warnervale Landing Area?
If not, what properties have been excluded and why were they excluded?
There appear to be inconsistencies when all three maps are compared.
For instance, why is the area within the yellow oval not colour coded as part of the Map of Management Zones as MZ1?
Is the correct total area of the management zone for MZ1 517.63 if this area is not part of the management zones?
Can Council explain why these inconsistencies occur between maps?
In relation to the track and infrastructure map on page 26. Are all the pipelines, transmission lines and water junctions pre-existing or are they proposed for future construction? If new, will this involve vegetation clearing?
The map on page 32 of the CA identifies management zones from in MZ1 to MZ7.
We seek Council’s clarification of how access will be gained to manage trees that need to be trimmed within management zones MZ3 to MZ7?
In relation to the special vegetation management zones, can Council please confirm the CA acknowledges that those zones are only in place while the adjacent ALA is in existence.
The Conservation Agreement should not be a means to bypass any other conservation legislation related to the area at the southern end of the ALA.