Planning Minister Rob Stokes today released a range of reforms for environmental zones across the North Coast to protect the region’s most environmentally sensitive areas and safeguard farmland.

Mr Stokes said today’s announcement means local councils now have the clarity needed to identify the most appropriate zone for environmentally important areas.

“Today’s reforms resolve a longstanding challenge for the North Coast community in protecting the region’s pristine local environment while respecting and safeguarding its rich farmland,” Mr Stokes said.

“We’ve been very careful to make sure the primary use of the land, whether it’s for conservation or agriculture, is the key driver behind the zoning decision so farmers and the community can proceed with confidence.”

The reforms come from recommendations of an independent review undertaken into the use of environmental zones by North Coast councils in their Local Environmental Plans.

The reforms clarify that:

“This is an important step in ensuring landholders and the community have certainty in what is permitted in different areas throughout our community,” Mr George said.

“We want to make sure we strike the right balance to protect our environment and our local economy,” said Mr Provest.

The recommendations will initially apply to the five North Coast councils of Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore and Tweed. There will be further public consultation to consider a similar approach for environmental zoning in other NSW councils areas. For more information visit

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.