A public meeting highlighting the environmental aspects of the new Blue Mountains Local Environment Plan (LEF) reinformced the need for residents to make submissions in support of its provisions.
Organised by the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, the meeting was designed to inform residents and help them to make submissions.
Nearly 90 people were at the meeting, where speakers included the mayor, Mark Greenhill, council staff and society representatives.
Both Clr Greenhill and Tara Cameron, the society’s vice-president, emphasised the need for residents to make their voices heard.
“The fight is not over yet,” said Clr Greenhill. “Council staff and councillors have worked hard to produce a great draft LEP but we have pushed the boundaries with the NSW government. We need to show that the community supports the unique Blue Mountains specific provisions we have incorporated into the draft LEP.”
The Conservation Society supports council’s position and is also urging residents to make submissions.
“The society supports the environmental provisions contained in the draft LEP which we believe are essential to maintaining the environmental and scenic values of the Blue Mountains,” said Ms Cameron.
“While the society is pursuing amendments to the draft LEP to improve environmental outcomes, overall we are very pleased with what council has achieved so far. However, we are very concerned about what happens next in terms of finalising the draft LEP.”
Council will review the public submissions and then negotiate with the Department of Planning and the Minister for Planning to finalise the LEP. There are concerns this is a behind-closed-doors process and could lead to a final LEP being approved which is a watered down version of the draft.
“The draft LEP has some unique provisions which we do not want to see removed, such as the strict requirements in terms of stormwater management and the new residential zone to cover the large garden blocks of Leura, Glenbrook and Wentworth Falls,” Ms Cameron said.
“Lots of submissions in support of the draft LEP, especially the environmental provisions, will send a clear message to the NSW government and our local MPs.”
The draft LEP is complex and the submission process can be confusing. The society’s website offers advice on making a submission with a pro forma letter that can be downloaded or printed.
“Residents just need to add their details and any further comment and then post or email the letter to council,” said Ms Cameron.
“Even easier, we have a simple automatic email pro forma submission which just takes a click to lodge.”
The society’s website is www.bluemountains.org.au.