Questions over appeal withdrawal

The commission’s appeal, lodged on May 12, did not support the marina proposal but it withdrew the appeal without explanation on May 22.

South Metropolitan Region MLC Lynn MacLaren said she was surprised the CC’s perspective on the marina and environment was withdrawn.

‘People are asking about what’s going on behind the scenes,’ she said.

‘We now have a copy of the original appeal but the process calls into doubt the Government’s procedures for protecting the environment.’

The Courier has a copy of the initial document lodged by CC director Carol Shannon that was critical of the EPA’s proposed environmental offset conditions and consideration given to its submission on the Public Environmental Review (PER).

In the appeal, Ms Shannon said the EPA did not adequately address the CC’s comments on the PER about the site’s conservation value and was critical of a proposed $450,000 offset deal between the proponent and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).

She said the conditions did not give certainty that offsets would match the marina’s ‘significant residual impacts’.

Yesterday Ms Shannon told the Courier the appeal was withdrawn after further research and it felt ‘adequately represented’ by the DEC’s submission.

She said neither the Government nor any other department had contacted the CC about its appeal but did not confirm whether it now supported the project.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Albert Jacob said he had no involvement in the CC’s decision to withdraw the appeal.

‘The minister does not get involved in the appeals process and it would not be appropriate to do so,’ she said.

‘The minister has a decision making role once the appeals are determined by the Appeals Convenor. As part of that decision making role, the minister can and will seek the advice of the Commission.’