Water Course Buffers -A Step Nearer!
The Society, in conjunction with RAID (Residents Against Inappropriate Development), has been lobbying Blue Mountains City Council to implement a system of buffers around watercourses in its Local Environment Plans (LEPs). The buffers would help to reduce siltation and improve water quality.
The campaign received a big boost when Commissioner Carleton, in his report on BMCC's Draft LEP 1997, made watercourse buffers his first recommendation.
In response to lobbying from the society and RAID, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Trust has formally taken on board a project to produce a scientifically based report on buffers. This report will also cover the planning implications arising from watercourse buffer implementation.
The Trust is the logical body to manage this project - water quality is their major priority, they have access to technical expertise, and they have twenty-eight Local Councils in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. The intention is to achieve implementation of watercourse buffers in the BMCC area, then progressively focus on the remaining Local Councils in the catchment.
The preliminary budget for the research and report production is around $30,000. At its 19/6/99 meeting, our Management Committee approved a $2,000 contribution from the Society's Public Gift Fund. The Trust and the Blue Mountains Catchment Management Committee have committed a total of $7000. Funding is also being sought from the Urban Runoff Programme administered by Mr Debus.
The project will be run by a steering committee comprising representatives from seven stakeholders - Blue Mountains City Council, Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Trust, Blue Mountains Catchment Management Committee, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Dept Land and Water Conservation, Environmental Protection Authority and National Parks and Wildlife Service.
We are looking forward to working with these key organisations to help the Blue Mountains Environment.