19.3 C
Byron Shire
May 29, 2022

Holiday park report ‘a sham’

Latest News

Primex Sustainable Farming and Primary Industries Expo new date confirmed

After being postponed due to the flooding and ongoing wet weather the 2022 Primex Sustainable Farming and Primary Industries Expo and will now go ahead on November 10–12.

Other News

Bringing learning and play together

Byron Bay High School’s new agility course recognises the importance of play for learning and has students from all years actively playing during breaks and PDHPE lessons, according to Byron Bay High’s Principal, Janine Marcus.

Recalcitrant dogs

I could be a lot richer collecting $1 from all those who have told me to ‘get f****ed’ with...

A gold star campaign and a result full of hope

It’s not surprising that Mandy Nolan got so many primary votes at Saturday’s election for the seat of Richmond – her campaign has been relentless and her volunteers all stellar.

Fugly Design Award

I would like to second Nick Buckley’s idea for the Fugly Architectural Design Award (in last week’s Echo). Perhaps...

North Coast Festival of Flavour

Organisers of the North Coast Festival of Flavour on 3–5 June 2022 say it’s not to be missed, as...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Another Day in Hope Purgatory

Politics is a phenomenal experience. To work harder than you thought possible, to put yourself so absolutely in the public domain full of hope and belief. Then to ask for judgement. It’s high stakes. A kind of ethical and philosophical extreme sport.

A once-secret report reveals that the controversial takeover by the state government six years ago of four council-controlled caravan parks in Byron Shire was orchestrated because council ‘got in the way’ of the lands department’s agenda to expand its commercial activities, council was told this week.

But after six years of the state government running the parks at Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay, widespread and longstanding breaches of compliance, access and encroachment have yet to be resolved – despite the department labelling these breaches as ‘extreme risk’ in its excuse for the takeover.

Brunswick Heads residents at last Thursday’s Byron Shire Council meeting applauded councillors and staff after progress association and foreshore protection group spokesperson Michele Grant thanked them for their ‘relentless efforts’ in ‘battling the awesome and determined power of the state’ in order to negotiate a fair and reasonable outcome for the parks residents and the community’.

The once-confidential report produced by the then Department of Lands (DoL) was tabled at the meeting in what staff said was an attempt to give councillors insight as to the reasoning behind the decision to resume direct control of the four caravan parks (The Terrace, Massey Green and Ferry Reserve at Brunswick Heads and Clarks Beach at Byron Bay).

Ms Grant said the public release of the 2006 report on the parks’ management  ‘finally lays to rest years of speculation’ and provided council and the community with some insight into the department’s justification for the sacking of Byron’s Reserve Trust. ‘Some may be disappointed DoL’s report reveals no salacious slush fund scandals or damning evidence of corruption, fraud or inappropriate dalliances, just the usual casual negligence when it comes to compliance,’ she said.

‘The report is fundamentally a brazen manifesto that clearly spells out DoL’s agenda and ruthless intent to take over administration of Crown parks and other significant crown assets along the NSW coast’ after it had adopted a commercial business focus.

‘The plan is maximise profits for DoL, privatise our prized public assets and disregard any adverse impacts. This is the vision, the future for our caravan parks under DoL’s current management team.

Risks continue

Ms Grant said the many photos submitted in recent years by the community showed the ‘perilous high-risk activities continue with the usual overcrowding, inadequate carparking, traffic, noise amenity issues, lack of open space and “overflow” onto adjoining lands, and the ongoing absence of legally required setbacks and buffer zones along park boundaries, roadways and along the foreshore.’

She said they were issues ‘we are still locking horns over today with park management and DoL, and most remain unresolved in the most recent plans of management’.

‘It’s obvious from the report that council’s big mistake was it failed to share the vision and got in the way of DoL grand plans. This is the ultimate betrayal underlying DoL’s decision to replace reserve trust management with a more malleable administrator.’

Ms Grant said the department’s ‘latest heavy-handed manoeuvre seeking the compulsory acquisition of hotly contested encroached road reserve lands is simply another demonstration of their thuggish, bullying tactics and the complete absence of due process or negotiated outcomes’.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Reasons to be cheerful

After nine long years of being led by the least among us, Australia’s future feels optimistic. Thanks, Western Australia, you were instrumental in booting those numpties out! 

Regrets for treatment of Wardell CORE?

After Ballina Council's recent decision, at its Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting, to effectively evict the Wardell Community Organised Resilience Effort (CORE) from the War Memorial Hall, in mid-flood recovery, some were having second thoughts at their Ordinary Meeting yesterday.

Keep your eyes and ears open for Albert’s Lyrebird

Tweed Council is asking that you put your best bird listening ears on this June and capture the sounds of a rare bird.

Progress at Ross Lane?

The perennial question 'is Ross Lane open?' edged closer to an answer yesterday, with Ballina Council discussing a range of options to solve the flooding problem which regularly cuts off Lennox's main access to the west. Ross Lane has been closed again this week.