In November 2001, Australian Radiata Pty lodged a development application with the NSW Department of Planning to establish a commercial pearl farm in Port Stephens. NSW Fisheries considered it an opportunity to establish a profitable industry with broad economic and social benefits and minimal environmental impact. However, the local community was strongly opposed to the proposal. Many people believed they had not been properly consulted and that the farm represented a significant threat to marine mammals, port ecology, tourism, existing oyster farmers and the area’s natural beauty. After a 2002 Commission of Inquiry, it was up to Planning Minister Andrew Refshauge to determine whether the application would be approved.
This case illustrates the complex issues involved in policy development and decision making where a community is strongly opposed to economic development and where wildlife and the environment are also seen as economic assets.
- part B, also appropriate for further discussion, looks at the contested issue from the perspective of the would-be developer, and illustrates the complex currents of fact and opinion contributing to a final policy decision.
- the epilogue gives the final decision of the Land and Environment Court which overrules the successive ministerial determinations against the proposal.
- Authors: Marinella Padula
- Published Date: 27 June 2008
- Author Institution: ANZSOG
- Featured Content Length: 7
- Content Length: 16
- Product Type: Part A, Primary resources