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Kevin McAsh - 12 June 2018

Kevin McAsh made the below comments at the Ordinary Council Meeting 12 June 2018.

History

  • The Clyde River has suffered siltation in the past from clearing and timber harvesting.
  • Fortunately 95% of the foreshore of the river is now either National Parks or Forestry.
  • The value of the industry in NSW has been acknowledged by the government with an Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy and State Environmental Planning Policy 62.

Water Quality

  • Oysters need water quality to grow and the Clyde is a particularly clean river with an excellent Quality Assurance Program (QAP), which means the river is open for direct harvest very quickly after a rain event.
  • The Food Authority who monitor the QAP, undertake regular auditing of the foreshores to determine if there are adverse impacts on oyster cultivation and harvesting
  • Allowing subdivision of land along the River will have an adverse effect on oyster production i.e A land holder at North Batemans Bay under scrubbed his steeply sloping block above a harvest lease and closed that area for harvest for two weeks. The EPA where unable or unwilling to act on the unauthorized clearing, We needed local support.
  • I was in Brisbane Waters last week. The water quality has been badly affected by the development around Brisbane Waters.  Stormwater runoff from roads and surface water from properties. Port Macquarie is another example where farmers are struggling because of runoff and acid sulphate soils disturbed by subdivision.

We need your help with maintaining water quality and this will not be achieved if subdivision is allowed on the river or its catchments.

Why is this important?

  • The Clyde has an export licence which will be jeopardized by foreshore development along the river.
  • The Clyde River is the third largest producer in the State (Aquaculture Production Report 16-17) with a farm gate value of $SM.
  • The River is increasing production which will be adversely affected by a reduction in water quality.
  • The result of increased production is more jobs in the Shire.
  • The Council has supported a hatchery in the Moruya River to support the local oyster farms and to increase job opportunities, however a hatchery requires quality water. Further subdivision with adversely affect this project.

Tourism – Narooma Oyster Festival       

  • On Sunday we hosted a international film crew of 12 from Fantastic TV Hong Kong (http://www.fantv.com) boasting 7 million viewers. They / were thrilled with the oysters which they ate directly from the river, which they found to be astounding, but more than that they marvelled at the unspoilt nature of the river.
  • The value of the unspoilt nature of this part of the coast is valued by all who holiday here.

We have beautiful rivers in this Shire which are productive and provide enjoyment to visitors because they are undeveloped.

This Rural Land Strategy will adversely affect both production of oysters and the unspoilt nature of our rivers and estuaries.