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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Who benefits from Belongil wall?

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I refer to letters by Dailan Pugh and Dr Norman Sanders concerning the effects on the Belongil Estuary of the proposed Belongil wall.

Dailan notes that the Belongil Estuary remains a breeding site for remaining shore birds roosting and nesting. We need also to remember the status of endangered birds.

Norman notes that ‘any artificial impediment to sand movement will have ramifications far beyond the supposed benefit’.

If, given the evidence above, this research has no impact upon wall proponents, the next logical step is to ask ‘who gains from the proposal?’

The Byron community is aware of the large events development now under construction by developer Flannery. This development is on land adjacent to the Belongil Estuary and has been the songline of activists for a decade and a half involved in No Club Med and Becton’s development proposals. Currently activists are working hard to voice their opposition in the Save Our Sunrise (SOS) campaign.

We know that that the Beach Hotel is safeguarded by the ‘restraining wall’ that supports a car park. No doubt such a wall will enhance the Flannery development from the flagrant and heady urges of Mother Nature!

But will it? Will nature and future species be protected from human intervention? And should ratepayers really be expected to pay for the destruction of the estuary to the enhancement of the Flannery development?

It is time to pause and reflect on the whole picture of the beautiful Belongil Estuary. We should all gain from its legacy no matter its pain. However, in this current instant we should consider most seriously ‘Who really gains from a wall?’ We do have the precautionary principle to help a legal stance in this case.

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