Saturday, 27 August 2016

Why Moonee Beach is saying NO

The Moonee Beach community are making their views known loud and clear. The beachside village is sporting red flags everywhere and dozens of locals have written submissions and signed petitions. What is going on in sleepy Moonee?

The shopping centre corporation Gowing Brothers Pty Ltd has recently lodged a Development Application (DA) to build a service station in what is virtually the only remaining commercial land in the village. "What's wrong with that? We all drive cars don't we?" is a question you may well ask.

The service station is planned to be 24 hrs operation, also have a fast food outlet attached and is proposed directly adjacent to a child care centre. The locals have deep concerns about this, namely

1. The service station shares a boundary with a child care centre which means that kids are playing only metres from gas tanks, petrol fumes all day from cars and also tankers. Toxins and heavy metals  from hydrocarbons are known to impact human health and particularly young children. Most Local Government Areas (LGAs) include a planning provision which limit this sort of development to greater than 500m away from 'sensitive areas' such as child care centres. Coffs Harbour's planning rules do not have this provision. 

2. The 24 fast food is not considered by locals to promote healthy living and will lead to more litter in the area. The spread of fast food packaging materials is well-documented from this type of establishment. Nothing else in Moonee is open for 24 hours and the zoning is to provide for a local or village services, not to service the highway. In fact service centres,mmuch as service the highways, are specifically banned in this zone.

3. The proximity of waterways and the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Coffs Harbour City Council has recently approved a service station development which allowed the overflow of the pollution collection tanks to be discharged into,the adjacent creek. This means that there is no reason to expect any different, ie it is likely that the same would occur at Moonee and contaminated water would be allowed to flow into the public tidal waterways of Moonee Creek and then to the Marine Park. There is a certain irony here in that Gowings promote themselves as marine conservationists through their support of Sea Shepard and their own Whale Trust.

The Coffs Harbour Greens will support the Moonee community in their quest to have appropriate development which fits with the DCP and adds value to the area without compromising children's health or the environment.