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West Byron newspaper ad inaccurate: residents

Byron Shire [former] Greens Councillor Rose Wanchap

Byron Shire [former] Greens Councillor Rose Wanchap

An advertisement taken out by Byron Shire real estate agent and [former Greens] councillor Rose Wanchap in The Byron Shire Echo last week riled up readers who contacted the paper criticising its pro-West Byron stance as factually inaccurate and biased.

The Byron Residents’ Group responded by saying it ‘mimics the misinformation that the National Party is peddling.’

The group’s Cate Coorey said, ‘Ms Wanchap assumes that she knows better about West Byron – the arrogance of this position is exactly that of the NSW department of planning and the minister, who ignored the community in making the decision to rezone West Byron’.

‘Unlike Ms Wanchap and Ms Goward, we actually read all the reports properly – we didn’t just pick out the paragraphs that suited our argument. Like her over-development councillor colleague Sol Ibrahim, Ms Wanchap appears to be calling into question the integrity of Byron Residents’ Group.

‘Where did we say there were 240 koalas at West Byron? We have said it is core koala habitat vital to the survival of Byron’s coastal koala population.’

Tit for tat

But Cr Wanchap has refuted the claims, saying that ‘some political parties are peddling misinformation’ as well.

She told The Echo, ‘It would have to be the pot calling the kettle black after seeing Ms Coorey having a photograph taken with the Labor candidate supposedly ripping up the West Byron zoning approval.’

Cr Wanchap adds that as for reading or understanding the reports on the proposal, ‘The minister, the department of planning and [Byron Shire] Council’s planning staff have a plethora of reports that have been accumulated over a decade. Happy to share these if need be. Bring a few wheelbarrows.’

And both sides are accusing each other of questionable integrity.

Integrity questioned

‘The integrity of the BRG is in question – over the time the Save Byron Bay Koalas petition has been up, they have continually referred to and supported these fraudulent statements.

‘I quote, “The development will destroy most of the habitat of the estimated 240 koalas in the vicinity” (see screen shot of petition page on my Facebook page).

‘I am sure most of those who have chosen to support them would be surprised to know there were only two male koalas sighted across the site and that 90 per cent of the 105ha site is currently abandoned cattle-grazing grassland, which, according ecologists, is so fragmented it would be difficult to support a breeding koala population of any size.’

Meanwhile Ms Coorey asks ‘what studies prove that building more houses will make housing more affordable? Could Cr Wanchap also provide written assurance from the developers – and any future owners of the land – that they will not subdivide down to 150sqm trying to maximise their yield?’

Supply and demand

Cr Wanchap replied, ‘It is basic economics that supply and demand will dictate market values. Regarding only small lots across the entire site, can Ms Coorey name a NSW residential development where this has ever happened? It would make no sense at all for a developer to do this.

‘Society’s needs are changing and flexibility of product size and budget are required to meet the various needs. Applying a liberal dose of logic a variety of lot sizes would be most likely.’

Another claim by Cr Wanchap in her advertisement was that it will be an ‘environmentally sustainable estate’.

Ms Coorey replied, ‘That is up to her and the councillors to ensure.

‘If it wasn’t for community pressure, Cr Wanchap and the rest of Council wouldn’t even have the opportunity to work on a Development Control Plan (DCP) that will shape what actually is built on the site.

‘The version of the DCP that the department of planning was trying to rush through – that we managed to avert – was a Development out-of-Control Plan.

‘BRG would be happy to provide Cr Wanchap with any reports or studies that will help her to make informed decisions about West Byron rather than just parroting her National Party cronies.

Ms Wanchap replied, ‘ The department would have been reluctant to pass the DCP back to Council because of the highly abusive and often incorrect statements made by BRG and their followers. Council voted unanimously to request it be passed back which would have provided assurance to the department that the true merits of the site would be considered.’

Both NSW Labor and the Greens have promised to return the development to Council if elected.


9 responses to “West Byron newspaper ad inaccurate: residents”

  1. Rachel says:

    The only people that support the west byron development are those whom stand to gain personally. Everyone else – that is, everyone else with ethics, integrity, empathy for the community, – they are firmly opposed to it. It’s fair to say, those whom support west byron development love themselves and HATE byron bay In which case, why not move back to Northern Beaches Sydney and keep doing your secret deals from there ?

    • tim says:

      Yep. I completely agree with you Rachel.
      So.. Ms Goward, Ms Wanchap, Mr Stokes & Premier Baird – it’s EXACTLY what she said.
      And we all know it to be true.

  2. Wardie Ward says:

    Byron township has already grown far beyond its infrastructure capacity.
    Let’s deal with the traffic, the scarcity of parking, the illegal holiday lets, and the lack of amenities in Byron before allowing developers to bulldoze yet another subdivision into the area. All this development is going to do is compound existing probelms and make a few people wealthier.

  3. Suzie Deyris says:

    We could reasonably expect Rose to be inclined towards a healthy environment for all species and feel duped, hoodwinked or that a Trojan Horse sits in our town. Rose needs to find the good Grace to step off the developers pedestal, and come back to Earth, where the people she promised she would represent ( those who paid for her campaign) dwell. To be singing the praises of massive medium density ( high density being high rise) ‘few owner’ development on Byron’s Wetland, is akin to singing the praises of Fracking, or Exxon. How dare these people with such obvious self interest ( Chris Cubis is the only steel supplier in town) pretend they have this Communities best interest in mind, and try to Hoodwink the public.

  4. Vivi Royston says:

    I would like to know the cost of the whopping big ad that Ms Wanchap placed. I would also like to know why Ms Wanchap is willing to spend so much of her own money defending this development ?

    • Cate Coorey says:

      Indeed, Vivi. It is an outrage that Ms Wanchap should take out an ad just before an election that clearly is intended to have an electoral effect — to change the views of people who might vote against the Nationals because of the West Byron issue. It was bad enough that she turned her back on the people who voted Green – and possibly the 31 people who voted directly for her — but to start trying to manipulate the outcome to get more votes for the Nationals who are so enthusiastic to put the interests of developers ahead of community is beyond the pale.

  5. A Hewson says:

    Its interesting that our local Councillor / Real Estate Agent Rose Wanchap has taken the time and expense to insert her ‘information advertisement’ to inform us what a brilliant idea it is to put a 1000 home subdivision on, what is probably the most congested road between Newcastle and the Gold Coast.

    Looking down on an old photo with her delusional, misleading and incorrect ‘thought bubble’ captions one gets the impression that she won’t be stuck sitting in a traffic jams on Ewingsdale Rd.

    She probably thinks her idea of two lanes on Shirley St routing more cars towards the beach will fix the traffic problems. Or perhaps traffic jams won’t be an issue for Rose.

    Who is this guy who has recently invested heavily to buy most of West Byron? The principal owner of West Byron Terry Agnew (who has also been pushing for a $2 billion casino island resort on the Great Barrier Reef). He might have some spare bedrooms at the new concrete tower being built at Wategos – at the location where mysterious house fire took place on his $7.5 million house?

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/byron-bay-mansions-lost-in-unexplained-blaze/story-e6frg6nf-1225855705114

    $7million was about what he paid for most of West Byron wasn’t it? Carve that up into small overpriced lots – he’s killing it!

    Our previous elected representative has done a bad job listening to the community, so it’s time for a change in this electorate! Put the Libs and National party last where they belong!

  6. Cate Coorey says:

    My comments to in this article were actually part of a letter and the Echo’s use of it as editorial loses the sense of the argument I made in that letter, I feel the article ended up as a ‘she says/she says’ exercise although Rose already had her half page to spruik her points which are still unsupported. It should be noted that the Save Byron’s Koalas is not our petition but was started by an international environmental petition site not BRG. For the record here is my letter in its entirety:

    “Rose Wanchap should not be taking out ads that are blatantly political this close to an election. Her ad about West Byron is full of unsupported arguments and mimics the misinformation that the National Party is peddling.
    Ms Wanchap assumes that she knows better about West Byron — the arrogance of this position is exactly that of the Department of Planning and the Minister who ignored the community in making the decision to rezone West Byron. Unlike Ms Wanchap and Ms Goward, we actually read all the the reports properly – we didn’t just pick out the paragraphs that suited our argument. Like her over-development councillor colleague Sol Ibrahim, Ms Wanchap appears to be calling into question the integrity of Byron Residents’ Group. Where did we say there were 240 koalas at West Byron? We have said it is core koala habitat vital to the survival of Byron’s coastal koala population.

    BRG can support any statement we have made and you can find references on our website http://www.byronresidentsgroup.org. . Can Ms Wanchap show us the Acid Sulfate Study of West Byron to support her claim? Which studies prove that building more houses will make housing more affordable? Could she also provide written assurance that the developers — and any future owners of the land — that they will not subdivide down to 150 sqm trying to maximise their yield?

    Ms Wanchap claims that it will be an “environmentally sustainable estate”. That is up to her and the councillors to ensure. If it wasn’t for community pressure, Ms Wanchap and the rest of Council wouldn’t even have the opportunity to work on Development Control Plan that will shape what actually is built on the site. The version of the DCP that the Department of Planning was trying to rush through — that we managed to avert — was a Development out-of-Control Plan.

    BRG would be happy to provide Ms Wanchap with any reports or studies that will help her to make informed decisions about West Byron rather than just parroting her National party cronies.”

  7. James Robinson-Gale says:

    “Applying a liberal dose of logic a variety of lot sizes would be most likely.”

    I think Rose had meant to say…”Applying a dose of Liberal logic a variety of lot sizes wuld be most likely.”

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