THE status quo on riverfront recreational reserves is not the best way to protect the waterway according to Riverwatch.
The organisation submitted a proposal to Shoalhaven City Council’s draft LEP process to re-zone foreshore reserves to Environmental Zones (E3).
Riverwatch treasurer John Tate said he was disappointed councillors had voted to basically leave the zoning unchanged.
“When you have a look at public recreation reserves and look at the objectives it’s really relating to recreation like football fields and parks.
“It doesn’t have any environmental objectives,” Mr Tate said.
“There are a number of foreshores already zoned environmental management E3, that’s because it is foreshore but some land which also goes down to foreshore has rural zoning.
“Then you’ve got these recreational reserves managed by council.
“What we’re saying is for consistency why don’t we zone all foreshores at least E3.
“That zoning would not stop recreational activity, but it will add to the protection and make it a little easier to attract state and federal funding to help projects that manage riverbanks.”
Council’s strategy planning manager Gordon Clark said the development committee had recommended the proposed zoning, as exhibited in draft SLEP 2009, be retained for council reserves.
However Mr Clark pointed out there were many more protections for the reserves under the Local Government Act.
Mr Clark said reserves along the Shoalhaven River had a mix of proposed zones under the draft LEP.
“Irrespective of the LEP and these reserves’ zoning it has a separate set of controls under the Local Government Act.
“We were saying if you want to have specific zonings for each reserve do it through a measured response and look at how the reserves are used or managed.”