11 March 2023

Short film seeks to put a 'zombie development' in the ground

| Claire Sams
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Jacob Shields and Jordan Mundey standing on a beach together

Jacob Shields and Jordan Mundey have collaborated on the new documentary. Photo: Sam Hsiao.

A new short film is drawing attention to a so-called ‘zombie development’ on the NSW South Coast.

Environmentalists say zombie developments – where a development was approved years or even decades ago but minimal work has been undertaken – haunt parts of NSW.

Tura Beach resident and committee member of the Friends of CRUNCH group Jacob Shields has collaborated with fellow local Jordan Mundey to produce a short film on what they see as such of a proposed subdivision at Mirador.

They argue the development will pose a risk to vulnerable bushland and endangered species.

“The extra hot passion comes from the fact this Tura forest is known to be full of endangered species, is known to be a critical bush corridor for endangered species down to a water source, is known to be a creek gully, which is a really unique ecosystem.

“We know that there are mature hollow-bearing trees in this forest.

“We know all sorts of things about how crucial this is to the local ecosystem, and despite all of that, an approval from 33 years ago means that it is allowed to be cleared,” Mr Shields said.

READ ALSO When is a zombie development not a zombie?

Their documentary, Crunch Time: Saving Tura’s Biodiversity, will premiere on 13 March from 7 pm at The Picture Show Man cinema in Merimbula.

“I’ve always been really interested in making little films and the telling of this news story is what can give … what can inform the community and give it a bit of power,” Mr Shields said.

He reached out to Mr Mundey and what started life as a short filmed interview quickly became a short documentary that includes interviews with ecologists and a solicitor.

Jacob Shields and Jordan Mundey sit opposite each other in front of cameras

Mr Shields said the film focused on a so-called ‘zombie development’ on the South Coast. Photo: Sam Hsiao.

The showing will be followed by a Q&A session, featuring Cathy Griff (Greens candidate), Doctor Michael Holland (Member for Bega and Labor candidate), Nathan Lygon (First Nations community leader and educator) and Mr Mundey.

“It will hopefully be a great chance for the community to directly engage with the big players in this whole thing!”

Mr Shields will be acting as the moderator.

READ ALSO ‘KEEP OUT’: Legal threat to Dalmeny residents who trespass on development site

The hope is that the documentary inspires viewers to think of each other and about the natural world around them, Mr Shields said.

“We want citizens to understand they have the power to influence the forces which govern the management of threatened forests like this.

“If the entire community is engaged and passionate about protecting our endangered species here, then they will be protected,” he added.

Tickets can be purchased through Humanitix.

Crunch Time: Saving Tura’s Biodiversity, will premiere on 13 March from 7 pm at The Picture Show Man cinema at 80 Main Street, Merimbula.

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Well done guys. A bottoms up grass roots approach will only solve this crisis at this stage. When developers and a buck of money are involved, the environment gets nothing more than 10th rate treatment. Maybe with the election and the chance for different politicians, things will get better.

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