A Brief History of “BES”

Ballina Environment Society formed in 1983 out of community concern over the first Local Environment Plan (the “LEP”).

It’s first major achievement, together with other environmental groups, was a successful appeal against a draft LEP. The Department of Environment and Planning called a public inquiry into the draft plan and a much revised LEP eventuated, stipulating environmental protection zones on private as well as public land.

A significant win came through the Community Against Sand Mining (CASM). Following a Land and Environment Court Appeal the conditions affecting mining were increased from fewer than 20 to over 90 and mining companies were required to keep records of all environmental failures and problems.

The construction of Prospect bridge (Angels Beach Drive) saw another success. BES, Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council and Crowley Village Residents all opposed the original plan.

A mediated settlement protected Aboriginal Middens on North Creek and also gave a noise buffer to Crowley Village.

Opposition to the Lennox Head sewage system augmentation plan and increased outfall at Skennars Head was a peak event in BES’s history. Land and Environment Court action was abandoned through lack of funds but the case was mediated.

That legal agreement still stands, requiring community consultation over future sewage system changes and a list of compulsory factors to be considered before future augmentation.

Subsequent campaigns included defeating a plan to build groynes along Seven-Mile Beach, the abandonment of a Murvac development plan for Mobbs Bay, and a negotiated settlement over a Boral plan for the Teven quarry.

A wide platform of local environmental issues is currently being dealt with, and perhaps the most difficult of those will be the RTA’s planned Pacific Highway realignment.

Your input and support are vitally needed to keep this work progressing. No other organisation in Ballina Shire exists solely to protect and promote our environment.