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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Community Title shenannigans

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Recently I’ve been working on my current legal action against Byron Shire Council, which concerns my right to convert my land from Multiple Occupancy (MO) to Community Title (CT). The Rural Strategy is merely a set of guidelines and it’s not absolutely binding on council. The binding document is the LEP 1988, which is currently being redrawn.

So I was furious to discover recently that Ray Darney, council’s planning manager, is not incorporating the right to Community Title in the draft version of that document; people in identified areas will have the right to apply for MO but not CT. The big question is why?

The next big question is whether the elected councillors will have the guts to stand up to Mr Darney and demand an explanation for this demotion, this so-far unjustified and unexplained gutting of the Rural Strategy. The Rural Strategy may be a dud for all we the public know, and CT may not be all it’s cracked up to be either. But that’s for Mr Darney to demonstrate, not assume.

And this he can’t really do: the review of the strategy that was due in 2003/4 never took place. In other words there is no public feedback whatsoever on how the strategy is working in practice, as was clearly specified as an intention in the strategy itself. Indeed the review was an explicit requirement of good governance.

Does community title bring the ‘wrong’ type of people into the area? And community title might give existing landowners the chance to make a bit of money, but would it also reduce the supply monopoly of professional developers?

The ball’s in your court, Ray; what’s going on?

 


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