Sean O’Meara, Terrace Residents Group
For the second time in as many years a large tree on an eroded Brunswick Heads riverbank has come crashing down, narrowly missing the holiday cabin below and potentially killing unsuspecting occupants.
Despite these life-threatening risks, the managers of the Terrace Reserve, the state government-appointed North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP), have failed to move this portable cabin back from the foreshore even though there is a vacant site only 10 metres away and it could be done in a matter of hours.
In fact this cabin is being illegally let by North Coast Holiday Parks as they are only licensed for 10 holiday cabins and this is not one of them.
Apart from being an unauthorised dwelling, this cabin has major safety issues and is in clear danger of collapsing into the river. It sits illegally close to the riverbank on public Crown land. It has an unsound paved dining area protruding three metres over the sensitive riverbank, which is part of the marine park.
In order to build the deck, all stabilising riverbank vegetation would need to have been totally cleared and it appears to be regularly cut back to give uninterrupted water views. This cabin and outdoor dining area are being perilously held in place by broken asbestos sheeting, rotten sleepers and a couple of rusty fence posts as a brace (see photo). The protected mangroves below the cabin have also been destroyed.
A recent independent audit of Brunswick Heads’ three caravan parks for North Coast Holiday Parks licence renewal found hundreds of areas of non-compliance, safety issues and the illegal occupation of large areas of public riverside land including the land monopolised by this dangerous cabin.
Byron Shire Council has put NCHP on notice to clean up their act and get back within their boundaries.
Surely the removal of this death trap and the repair of the environmentally sensitive riverbank must be first on a long list of things to do if North Coast Holiday Parks are to be considered for licence renewal.