PORT Stephens Council will investigate Landcom’s clearing of a block near Anna Bay following accusations of environmental vandalism from a community group.
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage staff failed to find any evidence of cleared koala habitat after inspecting the 22 hectare Fisherman’s Bay site yesterday, a spokeswoman said, but were making further inquiries.
Port Stephens Council officers are expected to meet with Landcom this week as part of their investigation into the alleged clearing.
Acting group manager development services, Rob Noble, said the council would provide more information about the incident as it became available.
‘‘At this stage, it is anticipated the investigation may take some weeks to complete,’’ Mr Noble said.
A Landcom spokesman said all works had complied with council guidelines, with the clearing had been undertaken for geotechnical analysis.
‘‘The areas cleared included existing fire trails and access paths through vegetation,’’ he said.
‘‘The pits have been backfilled with all disturbed areas remediated by spreading vegetation to minimise the potential for erosion and to encourage re-seeding and regrowth.’’
Anna Bay Community Action Group spokesman John McCauley said the group welcomed investigations but believed any damage was done.
‘‘The dozers have trashed this very fragile and vulnerable environment and its rare biodiversity,’’ Mr McCauley said.
‘‘This is a clear example of environmental vandalism.’’