Mulching is way of future

MULCH doesn't burn - that's the message being sent to land developers in Tweed Shire.

Council administrator Max Boyd hopes the rule may become a compulsory condition of all developments in the near future.

The condition is being applied to an increasing number of new developments.

Last week the council administrators, approving a 45-lot subdivision for Bilambil Heights following negotiations to avoid the issue going to court, imposed a condition agreed by the company behind the project requiring "all unwanted vegetation to be chipped and retained on the subdivision".

The NSW government is following suit, with thousands of tonnes of trees and stumps chipped in recent months for the route of the new motorway west of Brunswick Heads.

"My feeling is that is what should happen; there shouldn't be any burning," said Mr Boyd.

Mr Boyd said he did not accept the argument from some developers that a lot of the trees were camphor laurel and did not make good wood chips.

"The days of burning are coming to an end and everything should be mulched, whether the mulch is used or not," he added.

The new policy coincides with an investigation by council officers on why burning took place at the site of a possible new development near Tanglewood on the Tweed Coast last week.

Mr Boyd said he was alarmed to see the fires on his way to a community forum at Pottsville.

Major development company Delfin Lend Lease has proposed building a $200 million suburb on the site complete with a health-care industry including a vitamin factory, private hospital and aged-care home, but a development application is yet to be lodged.

Council officers have reported a fire permit was issued for the work, which solicitors had claimed was being done for agricultural purposes.

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