PO Box A96, Sydney South NSW 1235 Ph: (02) 9233 4660 Fax: (02) 9233 4880

Media Release 5 March 1997

Wallis Lake Cannot Be Fixed Without Coastal Policy: More Disasters Inevitable

The National Parks Association today warned that the Wallis Lake pollution problems could not be fixed permanently, and that more environmental health and safety disasters are inevitable, without a policy to control coastal development.

NPA’s Executive Officer, Noel Plumb, said " The Carr Government was elected on the back of a number of environmental promises which must be implemented if we are to stop further Lake Wallis disasters. Labor promised a coastal policy which would protect the coasts and estuaries but has not delivered after more than two years."

"Our coastal heaths and forests continue to be covered with concrete and red brick.. Sewage and polluted stormwater continues to pour into coastal lakes and rivers whilst ever more development is proposed by land speculators, local councils, developers and an insatiable tourist industry. It has to stop somehow or we face an environmental and public health disaster."

"Why should sustainable local fishing, oyster and tourism jobs be destroyed because of a distorted focus on property development which is creating an unsustainable urban sprawl along our coasts?"

The government made at least ten major pre-election promises which are crucial to regain control of the coasts and ensure that the health of the community is protected and the needs of responsible players in the tourism, fishing and agricultural industries are recognised They include:-

· new coastal protection laws and planning legislation
· strict assessment of all land clearing in coastal areas
· moratorium on new ocean outfalls (this also must apply to estuaries)
· moratorium on development in sensitive coastal environments
· no urban sprawl or ribbon development of coastal towns and villages
· mandatory consideration of coastal impacts from all development in coastal catchments
· all suitable coastal wetlands immediately protected
· expansion of national parks system and identification of priority areas

"The tragedy of Lake Wallis is that it need never have happened. But it will be repeated over and over again if the Government doesn’t bite the bullet and deliver an effective coastal policy to control development", concluded Mr Plumb.

For comment please call: Noel Plumb 02 92334660 or 018 975 075

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