Fire trail to remain off-limits

THE Woronora fire trail will remain closed and not be opened as a public road.

The trail between Woronora Heights and Woronora Valley has been zoned 7(b) Environmental Protection (Bushland) under the current Local Environmental Plan since 2006. This preserves the natural bushland areas from urban development and protects flora and fauna habitats.

But the zoning has to change under the draft Sutherland Shire Local Environmental Plan 2013.

Sutherland Shire Council is proposing to zone the land as E2 Environmental Conservation — which it says is consistent with the current zoning.

"It is clear that the provision of a public road in this zone is not consistent with the objectives of the zone," mayor Kent Johns said in a mayoral minute.

"Although there is a fire trail linking Woronora Heights with Woronora Valley, the council should clearly indicate that, in accordance with the current and draft zoning, it does not support any opening of the fire trail as a public road."

Cr Steve Simpson said: "The zoning we are putting on this is the highest zoning we could possibly do. It completely keeps the integrity of the previous zoning."

The council will write to the Woronora Progress Association and the Woronora Access Committee advising of the council's decision.

The council also affirmed it would maintain the fire tail in a suitable state of repair.

Should the fire trail be  open or closed?