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Judge blasts Environment Minister over coast call

Article image for Judge blasts Environment Minister over coast call

The Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, is “having another shocker” after being slammed by a judge over her decision to render dozens of homes on the mid-north coast virtually worthless.

Last November Ms Upton and the MidCoast Council declared Blueys and Boomerang beaches on the NSW coast at immediate risk from dune erosion and sea surges.

The decision devastated local residents, causing the values of their homes to plummet following the finding.

The Blueys and Boomerang Residents Group took the minister to court to explain the decision, considering they had a report showing there was no risk to their homes because the sand dunes are actually growing instead of eroding.

Pat Aiken from the NSW Coastal Alliance tells Ben Fordham “every report said that they weren’t at risk”.

Judge Terry Sheahan has now sided with the residents and slammed Ms Upton’s original decision saying “the advice given to her, was that these two beaches were ‘stable’ and ‘in balance’ so her finding was not supported by logical or rational grounds”.

Mr Aiken says the original decision reflects similar issues happening along the coast, with 60,000 homes ­impacted by the state’s coastal protection laws deeming land an environmental hazard area due to reasons ranging from rising sea levels to coastal erosion.

Mr Aiken tells Ben “the problem in the state government is they are listening to the Greens, that they’ve incorporated into the highest levels of the bureaucracy”.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Ben Fordham