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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

State of van parks misrepresented

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Geoffrey Suthon & Gary Morganson, Terrace Park Residents Committee

The Terrace Reserve Park residents once again find themselves the target of fictitious accusations. In a letter, Sean O’Meara (Echonetdaily, July 1) writes: ‘illegally occupied riverbank’, ‘illegally encroaching structures’, ‘makeshift and illegal structures’. For the record, all residents have a legal contract to live on their sites and all residents live in approved dwellings, and were in place when Council managed the park.

Mr O’Meara again: ‘only a handful left that contain true long-term residents’. There are 17 permanent dwellings, 15 of which are owned and occupied legally by residents; two are owned and leased by NCAT – a handful?

Mr O’Meara: ‘aggressive and continual destruction of the riverbank’, ‘more erosion and destruction of the riverbank has occurred… since NCHP took control’, ‘severe erosion to the riverbank’, etc. There is no more or less erosion than in areas not contained within The Terrace Park. From photos of the riverbank taken in the Terrace Park 12 years ago, the river appears to be virtually the same now as then.

Mr O’Meara: ‘construction of private boat harbours and private access tracks’. There are no boat harbours, and access within The Terrace Park has been blocked for many months, by instruction from NCAT in cooperation with the residents.

Mr O’Meara: ‘the riverbank needs immediate replanting and remediation work’. Regarding this point, it is being undertaken by EnviTE under contract to NCAT and is in progress right now, and has been for a while.

Mr O’Meara: ‘excludes local families from enjoying recreational activities’. The photo he supplied for the article supposedly shows exclusion. In fact his photo clearly shows an access point that is, and has been, used by camping families and local children for generations. He also fails to mention there are other designated community access points on Simpsons Creek.

Mr O’Meara: ‘this area was once a nature reserve’. Photos held at the Mullum Historical Society clearly show The Terrace Park has been used for camping activities since the 1920s.

We also found other inaccuracies in his letter. Mr O’Meara has misrepresented the facts.


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