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Greens MLC Sue Higginson. Image: file photo

Campaign for moratorium on “Zombie DA’s” older than 5 years

Rodney Stevens

The Yamba Community Action Network Yamba CAN Inc. are encouraging Clarence Valley locals to support a campaign calling for a moratorium on so called “Zombie DA’s”, preventing development on applications approved more than five-years-ago.

At a public flood awareness and resilience meeting organised by Yamba CAN and Valley Watch on Sunday, April 21, during a question-and-answer session, a question was submitted by a Yamba CAN member who could not attend the meeting about “Zombie DA’s.”

“Why can’t state government, while waiting for the Planning Law changes to get through parliament, put a Moratorium on every DA on all floodplains,” the Yamba CAN member asked.

Yamba CAN Inc. forwarded the question to Greens MLC, Sue Higginson, chair of a current NSW parliamentary inquiry into the planning system and impacts of climate change on the environment and communities, to respond.

Ms Higginson has launched a campaign calling on NSW Planning Minister, Paul Scully to shut these “Zombie” developments down.

“The NSW Minister for Planning does have the power and authority to intervene in planning matters without waiting for legislative change,” Ms Higginson replied.

“He has so far declined to do this.

“We have a current campaign with a one-click email to the Minister asking for him to introduce a State Environmental Planning Policy SEPP that would put a moratorium on any development approval older than 5 years.”

Recently “Zombie Da’s” have attracted wide media attention, especially the Wallum housing development at Brunswick Heads and a DA for a residential development at South West Rocks on the mid-north NSW coast.

The campaign titled “Get the Zombies out of the Planning System” states property developers are taking advantage of legal loopholes to force through decades-old developments which are driving the extinction crisis, filling floodplains, and causing pain in local communities.

The campaign claims these developments are against the evidence of modern science, against modern environmental protection laws and against the wishes of local communities. 

To sign the petition and to email Minister Scully visit