ACTIVIST: Dailan Pugh with his grandchildren, Acacia and Miles, at his home in Byron Bay.
ACTIVIST: Dailan Pugh with his grandchildren, Acacia and Miles, at his home in Byron Bay. Christian Morrow

Dailan's always fighting for the environment

IN THE week in which NSW Nature Conservation Council marked 60 years of fighting for the environment, The Northern Star caught up with local member Dailan Pugh, one of our own environmental campaigners.

Dailan said his commitment to the natural environment went way back before he even knew there was such a thing as an environmental campaigner.

Son of the well known Australian artist Clifton Pugh, after moving to the North Coast and buying a rainforest block, Dailan joined the Terania Creek Forest action group and was arrested in 1979 during the campaign to save the forest there.

"After winning the Terania Creek campaign I decided to carry on campaigning to save other forests," he said.

MORE: The battle at Terania Creek and the birth of environmental protest in Australia

"There has to be someone standing up for the environment and I have learned that you can make a difference.

"The most important thing at the moment is to get back our Environmental Zones.

"Around two and a half years ago local National Party ministers on the North Coast stopped them getting implemented

"So there are currently five local councils, including Byron, which cannot put new environmental zones in to their Local Environmental Plan (LEP). Instead the protections date from 1988. This is particularly sad because the Byron shire is an environmental hotspot."

Dailan is also a member of the North East Forest Alliance and the Byron Residents Group and is on forefront of environmental campaigns fighting the decision to build a rock wall on Belongil Beach and the West Byron Development.

When it comes to the rock wall to be built on Belongil Beach as part of interim beach access works, Dailan argues "that part of the Belongil is the last place you would sensibly want to protect".

MORE: Belongil property owner: Rock wall was 'promised'

"It's a sand spit between an estuary and the ocean ... ever since 1986 we have known we can't protect it and putting in this wall now outside of the Coastal Zone Management Plan will mean ratepayers can be sued, whereas if we wait for a CZMP then the state would be liable for any legal costs if there was damage," he said.


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