9.8 C
Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Sportsfield of dreams kicks on

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Secret footage from Manus detention centre to be screened in Lismore

A thirteen-minute award-winning documentary based on footage secretly filmed inside Australia’s former detention centre on Manus Island is to be screened in Lismore Thursday night.

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze...

Development of the Belongil Spit

Jo Faith, Newtown I was gobsmacked when I read that the ‘Greens’ mayor’s parting gift was to aid privatisation of land...

It’s D-Day for Byron’s Marvell Street DA

Will a controversial hotel development in central Byron that exceeds both height and floor space limits be given conditional approval at this week’s Byron Council meeting?

Water and the dam

Dr Roslyn Irwin, Caniaba An organisation called ‘Our Future NR’ is distributing and promoting information intended to put the Dunoon...

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Luis Feliu

Campaigners for sports fields in the north of Byron Shire are closer to realising their long-held ambition with Byron Shire Council taking steps to buy a block of rural land at Billinudgel for the facility.

Councillors last week ignored staff advice to put the long-awaited project on hold due to lack of funding and instead pushed to enter talks with the landowner to sort out the purchase of part of the property so the land could be developed into sports fields.

Council will pay a non-refundable $5,000 deposit on the land and the deal is conditional on the rezoning and subdivision of the portion of land wanted.

Ocean Shores locals had earlier appealed to councillors to bite the bullet and take up the offer, the only one made when recent expressions of interest were called.

Some councillors were concerned whether the right process in buying the land was being followed but councillors decided to obtain legal advice at the same time.

Ocean Shores Residents Association spokesperson Kath Norley told councillors that after 19 years it was time to make a decision ‘for a community that deserves a ground for perpetuity, 50 flat acres and at such a reasonable price’.

Ms Norley said council could acquire the land ‘for the equivalent of 2 years costed maintenance the Byron Regional cultural and sports centre’ and residents had companies willing to work for free on ground tests.

‘We want two fields laser levelled, top dressed, some composting toilets and a car park. Not much at all.

‘You have a chance to finalise something that will bring much joy to many, and heal an ailing community in the north which has many problems due to no open space,’ she said.

Crs Ross Tucker and Diane Woods expressed concern that if the land was bought before it was subdivided and rezoned, the process could be seen to be corrupted.

Cr Tucker said council shouldn’t create a perception of doing favours for some landowners and not others. ‘We’re walking down a very dangerous line, we ought to get some of the processes out of the way first’, he said.

Planning director Ray Darney said the land needed to be rezoned first.

Cr Simon Richardson said the land was perfect for sports fields and council should do all it could to buy it as soon as possible.

Staff said $1,125,000 was available in developer contribution funds for acquisition and embellishment of open space.

Mayor Jan Barham lambasted staff for what she said was a very negative report which shot the proposal down because it said funding would not allow it.

Cr Barham said ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ to read a report and ‘be told we can do something’.

‘We need to be told how we can do it, we want a can-do approach. This has been on the books since 1993, we need to be told how to do it, not how not to do it. It’s a common disappointment, ’ she said.

Cr Barham said that to ask the landowner to do something which was ‘not on’ could be a probity issue and ‘ICAC-able’.

‘To have these points raised now is a difficult process both for councillors and the community.’

She said councillors all agreed (on buying the land) but ‘we need the right processes’ and ‘staff support for undertaking what we need to do’.

 


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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Whats wrong with the new sports field in Byron Bay, i have personally never seen it being used. I drive to and from Byron Bay from Mullumbimby more then 4 times a week. Im not saying people in the Billinudgel area should consider using Byron Bay’s facilities, but more why was a field of such scale erected in Byron Bay?I believe the Council should go out of their way to get opinions from the entire shire. (21 year old local)

  2. Well said Jan. And it IS time that the North had more sporting facilities, not to mention it is time that that other negative mouthpiece, Tina Petrof, had her ancient gripes put to bed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.