Without wishing to get drawn into tit-for-tat correspondence with Cr Hunter, his letter in the recent edition of the Echo does raise some interesting issues:
- I refer to the report presented by Mr Ray Darney to the recent council meeting at which the councillors overwhelmingly decided not to extend the trading hours for his mini-storage business to allow access by his tenants on weekends and public holidays. This report included data on vehicle movements over a two-week period in November last year, in an effort to demonstrate the small number of vehicles accessing the facility on a day to day, week-day only, basis. On the face of it this appeared to be the case – the traffic generated was quite modest – but the numbers noted by the local residents living in the two homes overlooking the access road (aka the narrow winding country lane) suggested otherwise. It is clear from their observations that there were significant movements of vehicles during this period which were not reported in the ‘survey’ – for the simple reason that they were vehicles visiting, not the approved operation but the additional container storage facility which the Hunters have been operating, without a DA and for which the application has now gone on display in the Council Chambers this week. I suppose it’s hardly surprising, when you think about it, that these additional traffic movements wouldn’t be recorded in this ‘survey’ as they were being generated by an operation which had been brought to the attention of council’s compliance staff but which, at that point in time, wasn’t supposed to be going on !!
- There also seems to be a fundamental inconsistency in the remarks made by Cr.Hunter about the concerns of the ‘long suffering neighbours’ about his activities. On the one hand he seeks to dismiss me as some sort of ‘weekend visitor’ whereas I have, in fact, well established credentials, having lived and worked in the Byron Shire since the 1970s, having owned and operated numerous businesses and having paid rates on a number of properties over the years. He further seeks to diminish the concerns of several of the owners of adjacent properties as ‘persistent hostility from three to four neighbours’ whereas, the meetings these residents have held in recent years to discuss these issues have been well attended – on occasions by all the homeowners in the street and sometimes by residents of Tyagarah Road as well. There seems to be, in this attitude, a reflection of a concerning national agenda by large corporations, engaged in environmentally sensitive activities, to limit the right of objection to their operations to only those whose properties are most immediately affected (in this case almost all of the seven houses to which he refers) and then seek to disparage those people by characterising them as some sort of whingeing minority group.
Graham Mathews, Myocum