NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has joined a chorus of northern Illawarra environmental lobbyists opposed to Wollongong City Council's proposed land zoning changes around Helensburgh and Otford.
The outspoken upper house member yesterday blasted the council's proposal to reclassify sensitive land around the Royal National Park, paving the way for low-density housing in some areas.
Mr Shoebridge said allowing development around Helensburgh's Frew Avenue and Walker Street precincts would risk the future of a vital green corridor linking the national park and the sea.
"This is an essential green corridor and it faces being severed by these planning changes," he said.
Mr Shoebridge acknowledged the proposal included the protection of vast tracks of land under an E2 Environmental Conservation zoning, but said pockets of less stringent zonings, which would allow limited development, were a step too far.
"There needs to be consistent E2 zoning to protect the green corridor," he said.
Mr Shoebridge dismissed previous calls from business and land owners that limited development should be allowed to occur.
"Business and property owners should realise they live in the middle of a very fragile environmental precinct," he said.
"It's reasonable to place a limit on the footprint of development when you live on the doorstep of Australia's oldest national park."