22.5 C
Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Byron festival plans face koala concerns

Latest News

Not quite ‘too late’

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia Sir David Attenborough, the world’s most famous naturalist, has just addressed the United Nations Security Council to...

Other News

Tweed Council staff’s delegated powers debated

The question of what staff and councillors get to decide in relation to development applications was raised by Tweed Councillor Ron Cooper at the last Tweed Shire Council meeting.

Byron Wildlife Hospital’s DA up for public comment

A development application for the mobile Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is now before the public.

Brunswick Heads marina berths to increase

Questions remain unanswered around a press release from Nationals MLC Ben Franklin’s office regarding a $2.8 million upgrade to...

Interview with Janet Swain

Janet Swain is 14. She’s in love with the tragic and brilliant cellist Jacquleine DuPré. But one day her mother arrives home with a bassoon.

Hospital staff want to park for free while they work

It seems that Lismore Base isn’t the only hospital whose workers would like to park their cars for free while they work.

Suspicion and belief

Fast Buck$, Coorabell My suspicion is that the mayor and the senior staff have been helping Michael Lyon become electable...

Christine Wilmott, Byron Bay

Proposals to run eight festivals a year on the old Club Med / Becton site north of Byron are facing heightened scrutiny from local residents, council and the federal government, as concerns grow about protecting the shire’s surviving koala population.

The 88-hectare iconic coastal site now called North Beach was bought in 2010 by Queensland coal-mining magnate Brian Flannery, a member of the ‘rich list’, estimated to be worth in excess of $500 million.

Byron Shire Council is currently considering the owner’s plans to run eight festivals per year – one roughly every six weeks – some with up to 3000 participants and 1500 campers, potentially causing serious impacts on the local suburb and adjacent estuary, home to threatened species including the little tern and the pied oystercatchers.

Significantly, the festival site is also being identified as a wildlife corridor or ‘key linkage area’, connecting known koala populations in Tyagarah and West Byron – as a local Koala Plan of Management is being prepared by Byron Council.

A report for council in March this year on koala habitat – prepared by Biolink’s Steven Philips – found an urgent need to expand current habitat, and create ‘more effective habitat linkages’ if koalas were to survive in the shire. Just last week Steven Philips addressed a meeting involving council planning staff, new mayor Simon Richardson and the group Friends of the Koala, specifically focused on developing strategies to save koalas in the region.

At the same time the federal environment department has confirmed in a letter to a local resident that compliance officers are ‘currently looking into the case’ involving the North Beach festival plans, along with the Yelgun and Bluesfest sites.

Simultaneously the new owners of the Becton site want to revive an old development application that would allow construction of 160 new cabins on the coastal site – understood to be going on public display for two weeks only from October 16.

With the proposal for multiple festivals, the possibility of 160 new cabins, and approval for a new pub and drive-through bottle shop, local residents involved with the group Save Our Sunrise are concerned about possible overdevelopment. Representatives from the group met with council planning staff on Friday to express concerns and seek clarification about plans to protect and enhance koala habitat.

To contact Save Our Sunrise email : [email protected]


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.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Suspicion and belief

Fast Buck$, Coorabell My suspicion is that the mayor and the senior staff have been helping Michael Lyon become electable as mayor by scripting his...

Optics

I Menahemi, Myocum In his editorial Hans Lovejoy says – ‘the optics from The Echo have been and hopefully always will be independent.’ As long as more...

Suffolk Park pump track

Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump track will have on our...

New Greens team

Matthew O’Reilly President of CABS and a proud member of the NEW Byron Greens team It seems that some readers have taken my comments on the...